Feeds

McKinnon family awaits final, final extradition decision

May might act

Website security in corporate America

Supporters of Gary McKinnon are anxiously awaiting a Cabinet Office decision on whether the coalition government will halt his extradition proceedings.

While in opposition, cabinet ministers (most notably Nick Clegg and Dominic Grieve, the new attorney general) supported the campaign against the extradition of the Asperger's sufferer to the US. McKinnon was first arrested by UK police in 2002 over attacks on US military systems back in 2001.

But extradition proceedings only began in 2005, after a controversial extradition treaty between the UK and US came into effect.

A judicial review - the latest in a long series of legal challenges in the case - was due to take place next week (May 25 and 26). The hearing before senior judges would have considered whether former Home Secretary Alan Johnson acted fairly in disregarding medical opinion of McKinnon's mental health in allowing extradition proceedings to continue.

However, in a significant development, McKinnon's lawyers have written to the court requesting the cancellation of this hearing pending a Cabinet Office ruling in the case, expected to arrive as soon as Thursday.

Gary's mum, Janis Sharp, told El Reg: "We're waiting to hear from the Cabinet Office and expect to hear something tomorrow.

"In the meantime Karen [Todner, McKinnon's solicitor] has written to cancel the court hearing which was due to take place on the 25 and 26 May, so I don't think that's going ahead now. We won't know for sure until we have a statement from the Cabinet Office tomorrow."

Last week Todner wrote to new Home Secretary, Theresa May, asking her to "intervene and prevent the extradition of McKinnon to the US".

In a statement on these lobbying efforts, Todner explained: "We hope the new Conservative Liberal government will act upon previous public statements that it would be unjust to extradite McKinnon."

It's not altogether clear whether a ruling on the case will arrive on Thursday or even which government department will handle it. A Cabinet Office spokesman referred our initial inquiries on the matter to the Home Office.

McKinnon admits hacking into unsecured US military systems in a search for evidence of supposed UFO encounters but denies claims that he caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage in the process.

His supporters have called on authorities to try McKinnon in the UK, if anywhere, during a long-running campaign that has steadily gained the support of a diverse alliance of politicians, musicians, actors and other public figures. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.