McKinnon's mum applauds Obama extradition stance
Prez voices 'confidence' in UK legal system
The mother and attorney for Gary McKinnon voiced optimism about the prospects of blocking the accused NASA hacker's extradition to the US after President Barack Obama said he would respect the UK legal process.
“We have proceeded through all the processes required under our extradition agreements,” Obama said during a press conference in London, according to the BBC. “It's now in the hands of the British legal system. We have confidence in the British legal system coming to a just conclusion, and so we will await resolution and we will be respectful of that process.”
The comments appeared to contrast with a recent statement from US Attorney General Eric Holder in which he vowed to take all steps necessary to have McKinnon extradited and “held accountable for the crimes that he committed.”
McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, described the president's comments as “very positive.” She has been at the center of a campaign to keep her son from being forcibly transferred to the US on the grounds that he suffers from a form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome.
The hacker's lawyer, Karen Todner, went on to say: “Bearing in mind we do have this special relationship, the fact Mr. Obama has come out and said he would respect the English judicial system is wonderful.”
McKinnon, 45, faces a maximum of 60 years imprisonment for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002. He has admitted accessing the networks in search of evidence of UFOs.
McKinnon's fate is in the hands of Home Secretary Theresa May. A Home Office spokeswoman said that extradition at this stage in the process can be blocked only if May decides that it would breach McKinnon's human rights.
It's not yet known when the Home Secretary will make her decision. ®
“It's now in the hands of the British legal system. We have confidence in the British legal system coming to a just conclusion, and so we will await resolution and we will be respectful of that process.”
Shall I translate that for you?
"We (the Americans) have submitted all the correct legal paperwork to the British government for the extradition, we now await the British government to follow the laid down rules and guidelines in our very one sided agreement, and chuck Gary on a plane as soon as they are satisfied the forms are correct".
Time to maybe drop a hint to Holder to cool it?
Pandering to the more aggressive members of your team is sometimes bad for the image of the company as a whole. I don't see any benefit to dragging McKinnon over here; it might make some dynamic junior prosecutor's career (they think) but its a waste of time and resources. We've got more important things to worry about.
Trial in the UK?
I don't understand why the Yanks haven't taken up the offer of a trial in the UK, It would give them a their day in court, the whole affair would be dealt with and everyone would start to forget how a number of US military systems were exposed to the Internet with woefully inadequate preparation. In any case, McKinnon was in the UK when he allegedly accessed committed various offences, so one might have thought that he would be subject to UK law, rather than that of the USA.