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Computer hacker Gary McKinnon avoids US extradition

by Mark Tyson on 16 October 2012, 17:30

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabnuj

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Gary McKinnon has won his 10 year long fight to avoid extradition to the USA where he could have faced up to 60 years in prison. Mr McKinnon was arrested for hacking into US government and military computers in 2002 where he said he was searching for evidence of UFOs. He was accused by the US prosecutors of undertaking “the biggest military computer hack of all time”.

Human rights

While the crimes Gary McKinnon is accused of are serious, he similarly has a serious medical condition; “He has Asperger's syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness,” the Home Secretary, Theresa May explained. She announced this afternoon that “After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights.” Now it is to be decided whether Mr McKinnon should face a trial in the UK.

America wronged?

In an interview with the BBC, a former White House legal advisor, David Rivkin, called the decision by Mrs May “laughable” and said that anyone could claim they might commit suicide and therefore escape prosecution and imprisonment. Further to this the US Attorney’s Office may ask Interpol to issue a red notice so that if Mr McKinnon visits another country he could be arrested by that country’s police force.

UK protecting McKinnon is “old fashioned racism”

A couple of weeks ago Babar Ahmad was extradited alongside Abu Hamza to face US courts over terrorism charges. ITV News has reported that Mr Ahmad’s family have called Mrs May’s decision on Mr McKinnon “a clear demonstration of double standards” as Mr Ahmad also has Asperger’s syndrome and is under investigation for “computer related activity”.

Are you happy that Gary McKinnon has escaped extradition?



HEXUS Forums :: 38 Comments

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It's high time th extradition treaty we have with the US is revised. In fact we should not even have extradition treaties with nations that admit to torturing prisoners.
Jimbo75
It's high time th extradition treaty we have with the US is revised. In fact we should not even have extradition treaties with nations that admit to torturing prisoners.

This.
In an interview with the BBC, a former White House legal advisor, David Rivkin, called the decision by Mrs May “laughable” and said that anyone could claim they might commit suicide and therefore escape prosecution and imprisonment. What's laughable is that reaction.

What Theresa May said is that Gary McKinnon has Asbergers and depressive illness, and that his condition is such that she blocks extradition, not that anyone with Asberger's and depression would qualify for the same. She said, very clearly, that she has taken independent medical and legal advice, on top of that of several other clinicians, and that the extent of his condition is such that he cannot be extradited.

It is also the case that he has not yet, as Rivkin put it, "escaped prosecution", let alone imprisonment. The former is now for the DPP to determine, on the basis of UK law and prosecutorial guidelines, and the latter is for a court.

Rather than "former" White House advisers shooting their mouth off, and pouting when the Almighty US of A doesn't get it's own way, maybe the pompous numpty would like to consider that, just as the US will not extradite without due reference to their own laws, neither can our politicians. They must follow UK law, even when they don't like it, as with Hamza (and have you forgotten that one, only a week or so ago, Rivkin), or they themselves end up in our courts. May is acting in a quasi-judicial role, and she can and quite possibly would be held to account for her decision in the courts, had she decided to allow the extradition given the medical evidence she has.
Are you happy that Gary McKinnon has escaped extradition?Personally, neither happy nor unhappy, for the simple reason that I don't have access to all the medical evidence, and such decisions must be evidence-based.

In the absence of genuine medical grounds, I think he should have been extradited. What I don't know, in the absence of that advice, is whether the experts consider that reason enough for blocking extradition. I'm forced to conclude that if May blocked it, it was good enough, so he should not have been extradited.
this man's not a bad guy. screw them. the usa rulers are criminals and so are ours.