Gary McKinnon, could face extradition from Britain to the United States where he would stand trial for hacking into US government computers and could face a sentence of sixty years (Charged with 7 counts, proposed sentence Ten Years Per Count).
Gary has recently been diagnosed as suffering from Lifetime Aspergers Syndrome, which is why his family, friends and supporters around the world are arguing that Gary should be allowed to stay in the U.K and face the courts in the country where the offence, if offence there was, was committed.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, a world renowned expert on Aspergers and Autism feels strongly that Gary should absolutely not be extradited to the U.S. Professor Tony Atwood another world renowned expert on Aspergers and Autism also feels strongly that Gary should absolutely not be extradited to the U.S. As does Luke Beardon, a lecturer in Autism/Aspergers at Sheffield University and an expert on Aspergers and the law.
The United States authorities waited two years to call for Gary’s arrest because of a then unratified, unsigned extradition treaty between the two countries which would make it easier for them to have a British citizen sent for trial in the US. Yet, when he was first arrested in London, Gary was told he would probably get a sentence of community service for his hacking activities.
He naively admitted computer misuse before he had engaged a lawyer and without a lawyer even being present. We were still unaware that he had Aspergers Syndrome.
Gary gained no leniency for his honesty and on the contrary, his extradition has been relentlessly pursued by the British and American authorities, despite the crown prosecution service (CPS) declining to prosecute Gary in Britain.
This attitude will hardly encourage British citizens to come clean regarding any crimes they may have committed.
If no leniency or consideration is given when a person accused of a crime immediately and openly tells the truth, there is little point in them admitting to anything.
The CPS refusal to prosecute Gary here was clearly done to allow the Americans to arrest him two and a half years later, once the one-sided extradition treaty was introduced and then made retrospective.
In addition, in order to indict Gary, the US authorities had to claim a specific amount of financial damage. Gary has always denied causing damage and without proof of such, the U.S could not prosecute him. Then, just a month ago the U.S prosecutors stated in an interview, that once Gary was extradited, the most difficult thing to prove would be the damage!
Several months ago the goal posts were changed yet again when the U.S brought in a new law whereby no proof of damage was required where
military computers were concerned. For the American law to then have been conveniently changed at such a crucial time, so that proof of damage is no longer required speaks volumes and does little to give us any faith in such a “legal” system. (Gary has always denied the alleged damage)
Surely as a vulnerable adult with Aspergers Syndrome, Gary should be allowed to stay in the U.K and face the justice system of the country where
his alleged offence took place.
So why is Gary’s Extradition still being sought?
He admitted computer mis-use six an a half years ago and the U.S has changed the law so that they now have no need to prove the alleged damage.
So why is there now any need for a trial?
Gary could be sentenced to serve an appropriate time in an open prison in the U.K.
If we can somehow keep up the pressure, the Home Office just might rule in Gary’s favour, as they are now apparently re-considering his case.
Please try get your MP, MEP, Senator whoever to sign the EDM 2388 (Earlt Day Motion 2388) – if enough MP’s sign the EDM, a debate in parliament would be created regarding the flawed extradition treaty , and it just might change things for the better and at the moment the only hope we have is to draw attention to the injustice, extremely flawed treaty and proposed disproportionate sentence
This is not just about Gary; it’s about the fact that any U.K citizen can now be extradited to America on the strength of an allegation alone. These allegations are presented to our courts as Facts and accepted as such by our courts and Law Lords without the accused having any opportunity to challenge or rebut the allegations.
Our courts and Law Lords have publicly pronounced Gary guilty of Damage to military computer systems without him having the benefit of a trial in which to challenge the allegations.
This has severely prejudiced any trial Gary might have in the future.
This treaty was signed in secret under the “Queens Prerogative” by David Blunket a day prior to Parliamentary recess, so that no debate by Parliament was able to take place.
This so called treaty was not signed by the U.S and despite the fact that it did not come into effect until April 2007, it was made retrospective in 2004 to allow them to request the Extradition of Gary and others without any proof having to be shown. A Prima Facie case was effectively dispensed with.
How can a treaty by its very nature be one sided and how can it be made retrospective?
The Nat West Three, British business men and white collar workers have been extradited under this one sided treaty without any proof having to be provided, although Politicians were told that the treaty was to be used for Terrorists.
We used to have a statute of limitations in this country and we don’t know when that changed.
A petition is being signed to have Gary be tried in the UK, and not to be extradited. Here’s the Link.
Would you agree that he should be tried in the UK and not the US?