Many of you will be interested in what Gary McKinnon is up to these days, after his long extradition saga.

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The Daily Mail have published an extract from the book

Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story by Janis Sharp, published by Biteback Publishing

illustrated with photos of Gary and Janis,:

How the Mail helped save my son's life: In these soul-baring diary extracts, Gary McKinnon's mother tells of the despair and elation in her ten-year battle to save her suicidal Asperger's son from a U.S. jail

See previous blog post for details of the book

"Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story" by Janis Sharp, book publishing date 17th September 2013


We are looking forward to the publication of the book Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story by the remarkable Janis Sharp, available via from 17th September 2013 rrp £18.99

Title: Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story
Author: Janis Sharp
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Biteback Publishing (17 Sep 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 184954574X
ISBN-13: 978-1849545747

Background Briefing Notes to the Queen's Speech (.pdf) contains this worrying threat:

page 71

Strengthening public confidence in, and the operational effectiveness of, our extradition arrangements by amending the Extradition Act 2003, including by implementing recommendations of Sir Scott Baker's review;

This is not acceptable!

See our (and others) criticism of the Scott Baker review:

Rt. Hon. Scott Baker's review of Extradition - a review of the current mess, but spoiled by pathetic recommendations (apart from getting rid of the Home Secretary's role altogether)

There is now an amended Forum Bar to extradition, introduced by the Crime and Courts Act Schedule 20 Extradition

In theory this gives Judges the discretion to apply common sense and to determine if it would be in the interests of justice to hear a dual jurisdiction case in the UK or in a foreign court, something which the Extradition Act 2003 prevents them from doing.

It is hard to say whether or not this would have made any difference, if this had been in place in 2002 when Gary McKinnon was arrested or subsequently in 2003 when the ex post facto Extradition Act 2003 was applied to his case retrospectively, there is still too much scope for secret backroom deals between foreign prosecutors and the technologically inept and under resourced Crown Prosecution Service.

N.B. Although section 50 which simply calls the above Schedule 20, is on the Statute Book, it is not yet in force until it is Commenced by Order.

The previous Forum Bar amended legislation section 19B and section 83A was also enacted (in 2006), but never brought into force, by the previous or current Governments.

Whilst introducing the Second Reading of the Crime and Courts Bill, Home Secretary Theresa May announces that the Government intends to use it to amend the Extradition Act 2003 to include a Forum Bar and to further distance the Home Office from meddling in human rights appeals.

An Extradition Forum Bar should have allowed the trial of Gary McKinnon, the NatWest 3, Babar Ahmad, Christoper Tappin, Richard O'Dwyer etc. here in the United Kingdom rather than in the USA , but until the details are published, it is too early to welcome this news very much.

There is already Forum Bar legislation in the Extradition Act 2003 (section 19B and section 83A) on the Statute Book, introduced by the House of Lords in 2006, which has deliberately never been brought into force by the previous Labour or current Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition governments, who have never bothered to explain why not..

Mrs May: I thank my hon. Friend.

Finally, let me give the House notice of another set of amendments that we will table in Committee. Members will recall that on 16 October, when I made a statement on our extradition arrangements, I indicated that I would present legislation as soon as parliamentary time allowed to make two key changes to the Extradition Act 2003. The first would introduce a new forum bar to extradition, and the second would transfer to the High

14 Jan 2013 : Column 643

Court the Home Secretary's responsibilities for considering representations on human rights grounds. I have decided that we should seize the opportunity provided by the Bill so that we can give effect to the changes as soon as possible.

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced:


Joint CPS/MPS statement on the case of Gary McKinnon

Statement by Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service on the case of Gary McKinnon

Between 1 February 2001 and 19 March 2002, Gary McKinnon allegedly gained unauthorised access to 97 United States (US) Government computers. An investigation was launched in the US and a request for assistance was made to the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in England and Wales. Following discussions between the US Department of Justice, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in the autumn of 2002, a decision was taken that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the United States.

The reasons for that decision were:

The harm occurred in the US - the activity was directed against the military infrastructure of the US;
An investigation had already been launched in the US;
There were a large number of witnesses, most of whom were located in the US;
All of the physical evidence (with the exception of Mr McKinnon's computer) was located in the US;
The US prosecutors were able to bring a case that reflected the full extent of Mr McKinnon's alleged criminality; and
The bulk of the unused material was located in the US. Given the nature of the offence, this inevitably included highly sensitive information and the US courts were best placed to deal with any issues arising in relation to this material.

As a result, the US sought Mr McKinnon's extradition from England and Wales for trial in the US.

The decision that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the US was affirmed in 2009 and subsequently challenged in the High Court. That challenge failed. As Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said in his judgment: "... [it is] the decision of the DPP, which I consider to be lawful and unchallengeable, not to prosecute him here ... the USA is the appropriate forum for his prosecution."

On 16 October 2012, the Home Secretary decided not to extradite Mr McKinnon to the US on the basis of his health. She also announced that it was now for the DPP to decide whether Mr McKinnon had a case to answer in a UK court. At that stage there was no live criminal investigation in England and Wales, nor had there been for many years.

The DPP and the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police therefore agreed to convene a joint police/CPS panel to consider whether a new criminal investigation should be commenced.

None of the reasons for the original decision in 2002 that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the United States have altered. So far as the evidence is concerned, the position in 2012 is the same as it was in 2002. Most of the witnesses are in the US, as is nearly all the physical evidence and the bulk of the unused material, some of which is sensitive. Accordingly, in November this year, the CPS and the police met senior officials from the US Department of Justice to discuss the possibility of bringing the US witnesses to England and Wales for trial and of transferring all the US material to this jurisdiction to be considered.

The potential difficulties in bringing a case in England and Wales now should not be underestimated, not least the passage of time, the logistics of transferring sensitive evidence prepared for a court in the US to London for trial, the participation of US government witnesses in the trial and the need fully to comply with the duties of disclosure imposed on the CPS. The prospects of a conviction against Mr McKinnon which reflects the full extent of his alleged criminality are not high.

After consulting with the Metropolitan Police Service and the CPS and having carefully considered matters, on 4 December this year, US authorities indicated to us that they would be willing to co-operate with a prosecution in England and Wales if that would serve the interest of justice. However, they do not consider that making all the US witnesses available for trial in London and transferring all of the US material to this jurisdiction would be in the interests of justice given our representations and the reasons for the decision that the US was the appropriate forum as set out above. That is a decision the US authorities are fully entitled to reach and we respect their decision.

Against this background, the joint CPS/police panel recommended to the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police that he should not commence a new criminal investigation into Mr McKinnon. The Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has accepted that advice.

Posted on 14/12/2012 at 14:52

The announcement on Tuesday 16th October by Theresa May, the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government Home Secretary, that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the USA. This is a huge relief, and to be honest, a surprise, to some of us who have been campaigning for this for years.

We wish Gary and his family all the best.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign over the years, by lobbying politicians and by airing the issues of cybersecurity, extradition law and the treatment of autistic people, with the mainstream media and online.

The Daily Mail newspaper has been (to many supposedly "liberal" minded people's astonishment) a staunch supporter of the campaign to stop Gary McKinnon being extradited to the USA.

A great day for Gary - and British justice: After a 3-year Mail campaign bitterly opposed by America, British courts and civil servants, Theresa May yesterday courageously decided Asperger's sufferer Gary McKinnon will NOT be extradited for hacking Pentagon computers in pursuit of little green men

Technically, the Director of Public Prosecutions, could continue to flounder in the mire of the Crown Prosecution Service's embarrassment, by reversing his previous arguments that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Gary in the UK - the root cause of this whole debacle. It would be extraordinary if that were to happen now.

Theresa May has also vaguely promised some "new" forum bar changes to the evil Extradition Act 2003.

As with all politicians' promises, which we have learnt to be extremely cynical of over the course of this campaign, we need to see the full detail of exactly what is proposed. Will this really be something new, or will it be the Commencement of the already existing (but deliberately left dormant for over 6 years in defiance of the the will of Parliament) Extradition Act 2003 section 19B (European Arrest Warrant etc. category 1 countries) and section 87B (which applies to category 2 countries like the USA) ?

Until this mess over forum bar and Extradition is properly reformed, then the Kafkaesque political and judicial bureaucracy will betray other British victims of injustice, such as the student Richard O'Dwyer, who is facing extradition to the USA, for alleged internet activities which are not illegal in the United Kingdom.

Will anyone in Whitehall and Westminster be held accountable over the injust imprisonment without trial and extradition to the USA of, for example Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan ?

Tomorrow afternoon, on Tuesday 16th October 2012, Theresa May, the 6th Home Secretary who has been dithering over the Gary McKinnon extradition case over the past 10 years is supposed to announce her Decision.

There have been stories in the weekend newspapers regarding Yet Another Medical Report which says that Gary is not mentally fit to be extradited, but these have been ignored by the Home Office before.

The Home Office and the increasingly untrustworthy UK judicial system has succeeded in (temporarily) relieving itself its incompetent embarrassment of the Babar Ahmad extradition case, by deliberately mixing it in their political media spin up with that of the entirely separate case of the notorious Abu "The Hook" Hamza.

We fervently hope that tomorrow will bring this ordeal to an an end, for Gary McKinnon, for his family and supporters and for the rest of the people in the United Kingdom who risk being treated in the same appallingly Kafkaesque way, by the uncaring, unpatriotic, bureaucratic system which seem to have infected Whitehall.

Will Theresa May show that she can apply the British sense of fair play, common sense and mercy for Gary McKinnon, or will she betray all the pre-election promises made by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats ?

We would like to thank all the people who have taken the trouble to send Gary messages of support and those who have lobbied their elected politicians on his behalf.

The Guardian reports:

Gary McKinnon extradition case: Lib Dem report urges treaty change

As Theresa May prepares to decide on Gary McKinnon case, review ordered by Nick Clegg says extradition terms favour US

Daniel Boffey, Saturday 15 September 2012 20.42 BST

Theresa May, the home secretary, is under pressure to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon, who is wanted in the US over computer hacking charges, after a review of the treaty between the UK and US that was ordered by the deputy prime minister had urged that it be scrapped.

The review, commissioned by Nick Clegg and undertaken by the former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, insists that the current extradition treaty overly favours America.

The finding directly contradicts the Scott Baker report ordered by May last year, which concluded that the Extradition Act was not biased, even though nine times as many Britons have been extradited as Americans.


Clegg was a staunch supporter of McKinnon while in opposition, although he has since been criticised by the 46-year-old's mother for failing to help her once he was in government.

Campbell's review, however, makes it clear that the extradition treaty enabling McKinnon's removal should be reformed by the government in the interests of public confidence. At the moment, "probable cause" has to be shown before a UK request for extradition of an American citizen will be granted. The reciprocal test for Britons is "reasonable suspicion".

The Scott Baker review concluded that there was no practical difference, but, in an online article for the Observer, Campbell, who is a QC, says: "With that conclusion I respectfully disagree. To put the matter as simply as I can, one may have a 'suspicion' that someone has committed a crime, but that is a different and lower standard than being satisfied that it is 'probable' that a crime was committed by that person.

"The proper course should be to raise the British standard to the American one, so that UK citizens do not suffer a disadvantage compared to their US equivalents."


May must make her decision on the McKinnon case by 16 October. In July, his mother pleaded outside court for the home secretary to "show a little bit of compassion" and rule sooner, but the appeal was rejected.

If May allows the extradition to go ahead, McKinnon's lawyers are expected to apply for a judicial review to challenge that decision.


Campbell has presented Clegg with his review and it is likely to be discussed publicly at Liberal Democrat conference next week. May is due to set out the government's thinking on the extradition treaty by the end of the year.

This review by Sir Menzies Cambell might be influential but is not binding on either the Liberal Deomcrats or the Conservative partners in the Coalition government.

The silence of the Labour party on this matter is also noteworthy and should also be probed - would they support such reform to the UK-US extration treaty and the repeal or reform of their notorious Extradition Act 2003, which has caused such injustice to so many people, regarding extradition without prima facie evidence to both the USA and to the European Union ?