Below is an eyewitness impression of today's Bow Street Magistrates' Court appearance by Gary McKinnon:
July 2005 Archives
First reports seem to be that Gary McKinnon's extradition case has been adjourned until October 18th. More later:
Life Style Extra reports:
"He was granted bail on condition he lives at his home address, a £5,000 security remains in place and that he does not apply for any travel documents or use a computer with internet access.
His bail conditions were altered at today's hearing so that he only has to report to police on Mondays and Fridays, rather than daily.
The full extradition hearing was adjourned until October 18 for the defence to prepare their case"
The BBC also has essentially a similar report
"The case has been adjourned and Mr McKinnon was granted bail to appear again at Bow Street Magistrates' Court on 18 October.
District Judge Nicholas Evans ordered him to report to his local police station twice a week.
As part of his bail conditions, Mr McKinnon was ordered not to apply for any international travel documents and told not to use any computer equipment allowing him to access the internet.
Speaking outside court, Mr McKinnon's solicitor Karen Todner said her client "vigorously contested his extradition".
Mr McKinnon was first arrested in 2002 but action against him was discontinued.
Referring to this, his solicitor added: "It is unknown why there has been such a delay in requesting such extradition.
"The British public need to ask themselves why British citizens are being extradited to the USA when the US government has not signed the extradition treaty between the two countries." "
Gary McKinnon will be facing a District Judge, at Bow Street Magistrates' Court later today, Wednesday 27th July 2005. The hearing is scheduled to start around 10:30am, but this obviously depends on how long it takes to deal with other cases.
Speculation as to what might happen:
a) The Judge could decide to dismiss the extradition request. If there is sufficient evidence , the UK authorities could charge him under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, but probably not immediately.
b) The Judge could accede to the extradition request. He would have to have received written assurances from the US Government regarding no possability of a death penalty. The next stage would then be a decision from the Home Secretary nominally within 60 days. There could also be an appeal to the High Court.
c) More delay, in the light of the postponment of the Babar Ahmad decision until September awaiting further legal advice on the United States Military Order of November 13, 2001
Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism signed by President Bush, authorising the use of Military tribunals, Guantanamo Bay etc. and death penalty issues.
Conceivably, although Gary is not facing terrorism charges, he is accused of "attacking" the US military directly, something which none of the British Guantanamo Bay detainees were accused of. The Military Order also covers:
" (a) The term "individual subject to this order" shall mean any individual who is not a United States citizen"
"there is reason to believe that such individual, at the relevant times,"
"has engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit,"
"or have as their aim to cause, injury to or adverse effects on the United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy, or economy"
"with the penalties provided under applicable law, including life imprisonment or death."
If the legal extradition process does proceed, it should do so without the stupid restriction on Gary's use of "any computer connected to the internet" as part of any bail conditions.
We wish Gary the best of luck, he will need it.
The Sunday Herald in Scotland has published an interview with Gary McKinnon by Vicky Allan:
Gary McKinnon has appaeared on the BBC World Service radio programme "The Interview":
"This week 'The Interview' talks to the man described by US prosecutors as "the biggest military computer hack of all time". Briton Gary McKinnon stands accused of breaking and entering into US secret computer systems, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage, and effectively immobilising the military district of Washington DC for three days in 2002.
He faces charges in the US which could lead to up to 70 years in jail. Speaking in his first broadcast interview just days before his extradition hearing, McKinnon considers his own sense of naïve wrong-doing, but also denies causing damage and says he was acting out of "humanitarian" motives. "
Listen to The Interview (requires Real Media)
We welcome the visitors to this FreeGary.org.uk website, apparently from computers belonging to various United States authorities, including:
- United States Department of Defense Office of Inspector General - perhaps they are taking an interest in the appalling errors in computer security configuration and failed management procedures which have been highlighted by the Gary McKinnon case.
- Fort Belvoir (but not from one the IP addresses revealed in the the Virginia indictment)
- The US Department of Justice
Gary McKinnon warns people to profit from his experiences in an interview with The Register:
"McKinnon warns off fledgling hackers as hearing looms
By Peter Warren
Published Monday 18th July 2005 12:58 GMT
Gary McKinnon, the British hacker facing an extradition hearing in nine days time has warned other hacking wannabees not to follow his example.
The case of Babar Ahmad, who like Gary McKinnon is a British IT worker facing extradition to the USA under the controversial "no prima facie evidence" Extradition Act 2003, was due to have been decided by the Home Secretary Charles Clarke yesterday.
However, according to this press release from the Free Babar Ahmad campaign:
"The Home Secretary Charles Clarke has asked for an extension until September 2005 for his final decision on the extradition of alleged terror suspect Babar Ahmad to the United States of America.
Mr Ahmad was originally arrested, fully investigated and released without charge by British Authorities in December 2003. He was rearrested on an extradition warrant from the United States in August 2004.
After a Magistrate gave the ruling on 17th May that Mr Ahmad could be extradited to the U.S, the matter was handed over to the Home Secretary to decide. The Home Secretary had 60 days to make his decision, which would have expired on 16th July 2005. The Home Office has stated that they would like more time in order to find a new Lawyer to give them advice on American Law, especially in relation to the Death Penalty.
Under the new UK-U.S. Extradition Treaty 2003, the U.S does not have to provide prima facie evidence to support their allegations. If successfully extradited, lawyers for Mr Ahmad argue that he is very likely to face:
• Gross abuses in U.S. prisons: no access to visitors, no private access to a lawyer.
• Denial of a fair trial: unreliable evidence obtained under torture can be used
• Rendition: he could be secretly kidnapped and sent to a third state for torture.
• Military Tribunal: he could be sent to Guantanamo Bay.
• Death Penalty: he could be placed on Death Row.
Mr Ahmad’s family have agreed to the request for an extension. Babar Ahmad's case has become well-known nationally. Many people, Muslims and non-Muslims, have been lobbying their MP’s to voice their concerns over this extradition and how the Extradition Treaty 2003 is a threat to their civil liberties. 73 MPs so far have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM No. 241 tabled by Boris Johnson) opposing the Treaty.
We hope that Mr Clarke will be sensitive in his decision to the many issues surrounding this complex case, especially in terms of its effects on community relations.
Free Babar Ahmad
14th July 2005"
It seems astonishing that the Home Office did not get top United States legal opinions before they draughted the Extradition Act 2003 legislation.
Gary McKinnon faces exactly the same theoretical possabilities of US Military "justice" , "rendition"/torture or the death penalty, so the case of Babar Ahmad may set a legal precedent for Gary and for the other people who are being extradited to the USA without prima facie evidence presented to a UK court, for alleged crimes which were committed in the UK, which fall under UK law, such as the Enron/NatWest 3 David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew.
All of these people should face a UK court under UK law, of which there is plenty, and if convicted, serve time in a UK prison.
It is strange how the media still think that NASA is more important than the US Military.
Gary's interview with ZDnet provides a glimpse of some of his side of the story, which he has no opportunity to present before a UK court.
Every IT professional should be aghast at the level of security demonstrated, even after September 11th 2001, when the US military were allegedly on the highest state of alert and vigilance.
However as with all such interviews, there are a few misquotes or misleading edits.
Thanks to everyone who has emailed us with messages of support for Gary McKinnon.
Thanks also those journalists who are trying to make contact with Gary McKinnon, after the publicity of the interview in The Guardian
We have passed these emails on to a friend of Gary's who will print them out and show them to him soon.
It is extraordinary that this cumbersome procedure is needed, but it is a direct result of the unfair and pointless bail conditions imposed on Gary, which forbid him from using a computer connected to the internet.
The only other people in the United Kingdom who are subject to an internet ban, despite not having been charged or convicted of any crimes, may be some (but not all) of the 10 people who are subject to Control Orders under the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005.
If Gary was going to pose some threat to anyone over the internet, he has had three years or so to do so, without any such restrictions. What exactly do they fear that he might do now ?
An internet ban does nothing to ensure that he turns up at the Extradition hearing on the 27th.
It is , in fact, punishment without trial or conviction.
"Gary McKinnon has been accused of committing the 'biggest military computer hack of all time', and if extradited to the US faces up to 70 years in jail. So how did this techno geek from north London end up cracking open the Pentagon and Nasa's systems? He talks exclusively to Jon Ronson as he awaits his fate
Saturday July 9, 2005
Government Computer News has an article on the US Army’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit:
“CCIU agents respond to and investigate network intrusions and other computer-related felonies across the globe,” Andrews said. “Given the so-called borderless nature of Internet-based crime, many of CCIU’s cases involve investigative leads in foreign countries, adding even more complexity to cases that can often involve hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages."
One such case occurred three years ago.
Gary McKinnon, a computer administrator from London, faces extradition for charges that he hacked into military and NASA computer systems, deleting files and blocking access to the Internet, officials said. The incident occurred over a 12-month period during 2001 and 2002. CCIU gathered evidence and led the international investigation that resulted in McKinnon’s arrest.
Special agent Brent A. Pack, operations officer of the Fort Belvoir, Va.-based unit, said nabbing the hacker involved “collecting, examining and reporting more than 1T of electronic evidence.”
McKinnon was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in 2002 on eight counts of computer crimes and is scheduled for an extradition hearing on July 27 in London."
Cross posted from a comment on Spy Blog:
"I attended the meeting in the house of commons yesterday. The meeting was primarily about Babar Ahmad and he had many good supporters on his side.
George Galloway was there and was as eloquent as always.
One of the Enron 3 was there and his account of the American legal system was incredibly enlightening. He also pointed out that America never asked the UK for the extradition without Prima Facie evidence but the UK had apparently just decided to hand UK citizens over to to the US on this basis, something no other country in the world does apart from Ireland and France but he pointed out that France will never extradite a French national under those circumstances.
It seems that much of what the UK government is doing may be illegal.
The "treaty" has never been ratified by the US and the UK government's interpretation of the "treaty" is extremely dubious.
A judicial review of the present cases and a request to discharge the treaty seems to be the way forward and subsequently an amendment to the treaty in order to avoid the present misuse of the wording in it.
I'm glad I attended the meeting which although full and standing room only remained; it would have been good to see the meeting place overflowing into the streets.
I think the meeting room in the house of commons would have been overflowing if the G8 conference in Edinburgh hadn't been taking place in the same week. This unfortunately meant that the meeting wasn't covered on our Television news.
Hope they get their dates sorted out next time around as this was a serious error.
Glad George Galloway still managed to attend both.
The Enron website www.friendsextradited.org is also pretty informative.
Thank you to whoever runs this website for bringing such important matters to light.
The BBC reports about last nights meeting in Parliament to call for the reform of the unfair Extradition Act 2003 procedudres with the USA.
"Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July, 2005, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Extradition law criticised by MPs
The UK's extradition laws have come under fire from MPs as the deadline nears for the home secretary to decide the fate of a British terror suspect.
A judge has said Babar Ahmad can be deported to the US. Charles Clarke is due to decide on the case by 15 July.
At a cross-party meeting Conservative MP Boris Johnson said extradition rules introduced in 2003 were "grotesque".
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Goodhart QC said Mr Ahmad and other defendants should be put on trial in the UK.
Gary McKinnon is not the only person facing extradition to the USA, without prima facie evidence being presneted in a British court:
"All-Party Panel of Peers and MP's to Demand Extradition Independence from US on American Independence Day - 04 July 2005
Meeting Venue: Committee Room 11, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1
Date: 04 July 2005
Time: 6pm-8pm (prompt start)
On Monday 04 July 2005, an all-party panel of peers and MP's will join prominent British lawyers at the House of Commons to demand an end to the one-sided extradition arrangements between Britain and the U.S.
Since the U.K.-U.S. Extradition Treaty of 2003 was signed, the U.S. has demanded the extradition of over 40 British Citizens without having to provide any evidence. Even if the U.S. ratifies the Treaty, Britain cannot seek the extradition of any U.S. Citizen without first proving a case in a U.S. court. Therefore, British Citizens have inferior rights in comparison to their American counterparts.
The following will join other MP's and the families and friends of Britons facing extradition to the US, in Committee Room 11 of the House of Commons:
Chair: Saghir Hussain (Solicitor)
Lord Goodhart (Liberal Democrats Constitutional Affairs Spokesman)
Boris Johnson MP (Conservative MP for "Enron Three" British bankers
facing extradition to the US on fraud allegations)
Sadiq Khan MP (Labour MP for Babar Ahmad, Briton facing extradition to
the U.S. on terrorism allegations)
Hugo Charlton (Green Party Chairman and Barrister)
Gareth Pierce (Prominent Human Rights lawyer)
James Welch (Liberty Solicitor - involved in Katherine Gun Case)
Yvonne Ridley (Journalist, Respect Party)
Since seating capacity is limited, media correspondents are requested to reserve places by telephoning 07915 063 564 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Seats will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis."