Feeds

McKinnon gets a date for 'final' appeal

May appointment with destiny

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon and his legal team have been given three months to prepare for a judicial hearing on whether the Home Secretary proceeded correctly in allowing extradition proceedings to proceed in spite of dire medical warnings.

A judicial review will consider the strength of medical opinion that the Asperger's Syndrome sufferer was likely to crack under the strain of a US trial and likely imprisonment.

The date of a two day hearing before two senior judges has been set for 25 and 26 May, McKinnon's mum said last Friday. A ruling can be expected to follow two weeks or so later, by which time a general election will almost certainly have taken place. If opinion polls are to be believed, this is likely to leave Britain with a new government, a factor that may well play to McKinnon's favour. The opposition Tories have tabled debates against the US-UK extradition treaty calling for its reform, in support of McKinnon.

McKinnon and his supporters have fought a long and spirited campaign, punctuated by hopes raised and then crushed in numerous appeals that have taken the case before the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights. Many of the earlier appeals took place before McKinnon was diagnosed with a mild form of autism last November. McKinnon's campaign has taken off since then with the support of autism experts, politicians and celebrities. Campaigners have consistently argued that McKinnon ought to be tried in the UK, if anywhere.

The US's judicial system's poor track record of justice in handling the disabilities of suspects has become a central focus of protests. Medical experts categorise McKinnon as potentially suicidal if he were to be dragged away from friends and family and incarcerated in a US jail.

The one-sided nature of the US-UK extradition treaty - which became law after McKinnon was first arrested by UK police in 2002 - has also been criticised by protesters. The US authorities can demand extradition without presenting any evidence, whereas extraditions from the US to Europe require the fulfillment of much stronger conditions.

Extradition proceedings against McKinnon were first launched in 2005 and have proceeded, seemingly on autopilot, since then. It may be that the US prosecution is motivated in part by the much lower sentences generally handed out by UK courts in hacking cases, and the failure of a UK jury ever to return a guilty verdict in a computer intrusion prosecution since the Computer Misuse Act became law in 1990. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.