November 2006 Archives

Babar Ahmad. whose extradition case to the USA has been a couple of months ahead of Gary McKinnon's in the legal system, has lost his High Court Appeal.

This High Court decision does does not bode well for Gary McKinnon's case, since Babar Ahmad, whose case also involves computers and the internet, is not accused of directly attacking the US Military, which Gary McKinnon is, although, of course, Gary is not accused of any sort of terrorism,

Note, that all these legal appeals are not allowed to look at the actual evidence being brought against these men by the US authorities. Their defence lawyers do not have the opportunity to cross examine any of this evidence, some of which appears to be utterly ludicrous and exaggerated e.g. the alleged amount of financial damage which Gary McKinnon is accused of.

The Appeals etc. are only on points of law and procedure within the boundaries set out by the notorious Extradition Act 2003.

The BBC reports:


UK pair lose US extradition fight

Two terrorist suspects, Haroon Aswat and Babar Ahmad, have lost their High Court battle to avoid extradition to the US.

The Conservative so called Opposition in the House of Lords caved in to the Labour Government over the Extradition amendments to the Police and Justice Bill, on Tuesday 7th November 2006.

The amendments about taking the USA out of Schedule 2 of the Extradition Act 2003 were lost without a vote.

On the question of legal forum, which the Government have claimed that they will come up with some vague, unspecified non-legally binding (i.e. worthless) advice to prosecutors, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Kingsland said:

It is plain to us that a forum amendment is needed. Where the United States is an appropriate forum for trial, we should, of course, be willing to extradite to the USA people whom it seeks for trial. But the United States may not be an appropriate forum; for example, where all or most of the alleged criminal acts have happened in the United Kingdom, where the links between the offences and the United States are minimal, where most of the evidence and the witnesses are in the United Kingdom and where the United Kingdom authorities have decided not to prosecute because of insufficiency of evidence. The United States is plainly not an appropriate forum in those circumstances. If that is the case and when it would be unjust and oppressive to order extradition of the defendant, surely a United Kingdom judge, not a prosecutor, should have the power to prevent extradition.

The noble Baroness talked about ensuring that victims of crime in this country get justice. Of course that is right, but is not someone who is extradited to the United States unjustly himself a victim? Has he had the justice which he deserves? We believe that he has not.

The forum amendment will be entirely consistent with the Council of Europe Convention on Extradition and with the framework decision that set up the European arrest warrant. It is right that the amendment should not apply only to the United States but should extend to all countries, as it will, if passed. Do we not want to protect our people from unjust extradition not only to the USA, but to Albania and Azerbaijan, whose legal systems are far inferior to those of the USA?

Who could possibly disagree with this ?

The answer is the Labour Government and the feeble Conservative Opposition who mostly abstained , with the honourable exceptions of people like Lord Tebbit and Lord Onslow, who voted with the Liberal Democrats..

The legal forum amendments were lost by Contents: 96 to Not-Contents: 174.

The shoddy Police and Justice Bill will now get its Royal Assent and pass into law by the end of the week, and, shamefully, the uniquely unfair and unjust USA-UK extradition arrangements will continue.


The Parliamentary "ping pong" over the Extradition Act 2003 amendments in the Police and Justice Bill continued on Monday 6th November 2006, as the House of Commons again rejected the Lords' amendments, by 298 votes to 204.

See this BBC report

The Labour Government actually introduced amendments which incorporated the Opposition ones, but used a technical trick, to say up front, that they never intend these amendments to be brought into force.

House of Commons Hansard 6th November 2006 Column 625:

"John Reid: Yes, I can. It might help Members on both sides of the House if I were to explain the amendments. We have tabled the amendments in their proposed form simply to ensure that the Bill does not fall. As a technical measure to comply with the conventions of both Houses, we have inserted a so-called sunrise provision, which ensures that the amendments never see the light of day. Under the amendments, both Houses would need to pass a resolution before the amendments could come into force. The Government are not, of course, obliged to bring forward such a resolution, and have no intention of doing so. Consequently, the Government’s amendments have no practical effect in lying outwith the treaty. They do, however, enable us to cope with the conventions of both Houses."

This is the exact opposite of openness, transparency, and democratic accountability to the public, and shows how devious and manipulative the ex-Communist Home Secretary John Reid really is.

Will the House of Lords do the decent thing and insist on at least the Legal Forum amendment ?

Will the Bill run out of Parliamentary time this week and be lost ?
If it does so, at least there will be a chance to debate the issues again in the next session of Parliament when the Bill is re-introduced.

Hopefully, given the controversy, the Opposition parties will not
allow the Bill to be"carried over" to the next session, without having to be presented afresh.

There is an interesting legal judgement, by a Court in the UK, regarding an allegation of unauthorised computer access over the internet from a foreign country, which has some relevance to Gary McKinnon's case, if it should ever be heard in a British court.

Ashton Investments Ltd. & Anor v OJSC Russian Aluminium (Rusal) & Ors [2006] EWHC 2545 (Comm) (18 October 2006)

This was heard by Mr. Jonathan Hirst QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, Queen's Bench Division Commercial Court.

On Wednesday 1st November 2006, the House of Lords accepted the compromises the Government had made on controversial aspects of the Police and Justice Bill, regarding things like abandoning their plans for regional Police Force mergers, for now, and abandoning their plan for one super-bureaucracy to merge 5 independent inspectorates of Prisons, Police, etc.

What the House of Lords did not accept was the Government's rejection of their Noble Lordship's amendments to the unfair US-UK extradition arrangements.

They have voted by 189 Ayes to 152 Noes in favour of Amendment D!, which removes the United States of America from Schedule 2 of the Extradition Act 2003, despite the progress in getting the US Senate to reccomend that the unfair 2003 Treaty should soon be ratified by the USA.

If this stands, this effectively requires the US-UK Extradition Treaty of 2003 to be re-negotiated, hopefully not in secret as the original one was.

They also voted by 171 Ayes to 138 Noes in favour of Amendment F1, which restores the ability for a UK Judge hearing challengeable evidence, rather than a back room secret deal between prosecuters, to make the appropriate decision on the legal forum, in cases which could be tried either in the UK or elsewhere (not confined to just the USA) i.e. applicable to a future case like Gary McKinnon's or the NatWest 3 etc.

There is another week or so for the House of Commons to decide whether they accept these Lords' amendments or not.

The next vote in the Commons is scheduled for this Monday 6th November, so please contact your MP before then e.g. via WriteToThem.com

How long will this Parliamentary "ping pong" between the Commons and the Lords persists for, bearing in mind that the current session of Parliament ends next week until the new Session is opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 15th November, at which time she will make her Gracious Speech (written by the Government), outlining the legislative programme for the next few months.

In theory, the whole controversial hodge podge of this Police and Justice Bill could be lost, if there is no agreement on these Extradition clauses, if it is not completed before Parliament is prorogued next week, ahead of the the new session of Parliament , when Her majesty the Queen formal State Opening of Parliament ceremonies and Queen's Speech (or Gracious Speech) , written by the Government, in which she vaguely announces the Government's legislative programme (basically just a list of the tiles of new Bills)

If the Government forces the Lords' to back down over these Extradition Act amendments, that is not good for Gary McKinnon or the others facing dubious extradition to the USA.

If the Government allows the Police and Justice Bill to fail to pass in time, that is also not good for Gary and the others, because the current unfair Extradition Act 2003 will continue to be law.

Only if the Government decides to back down on the Extradition Act amendments, in order to save the rest of the Police and Justice Bill, is there any hope for Gary McKinnon, the NatWest 3, Babar Ahmad etc.

Gary McKinnon and the others who are still in the UK, might be able to appeal to a Court and demand a re-run of their extradition hearings, under the former rules which applied under the still in force 1973 treaty, which would allow them to challenge some of the ridiculous allegations against them in a UK court e.g. the vastly inflated allegations of financial damage claimed to have been caused by Gary McKinnon.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Write in support of Gary

If you feel strongly enough that Gary McKinnon should not be extradited to the USA, but should be tried here in Britain, then there are various people you can write to.

Firstly you can write to us here at info@freegary.org.uk. We will pass your messages of support on to Gary, and publicise this support to the media and to the politicians.

You can post anonymously here on this blog, but please be polite. Alternatively you can send us emails, but if you want a reply and the latest news, then you need to use a valid email address.

You can write to your Member of Parliament via WriteToThem

If your Member of Parliament has not already done so, then please ask them to sign

Early Day Motion 2388 sponsored by David Burrowes MP

(Previously, EDM 241 sponnsored by the then Conservative MP and now Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also gathered a large number of MP's signatures opposed to the unfair Extradition Act 2003 and the Extradition Treaty with the USA).

You can also write to David Blunkett Charles Clarke John Reid Jacqui Smith Alan Johnson Theresa May who is now the 6th Home Secretary who has had the responsibility for Gary McKinnon's extradition case:

You can send an email public.enquiries@ homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or a letter to:

Home Secretary
Rt Hon. Theresa May MP
c/o Direct Communications Unit
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Home Office Contact Us page

Write to US President Barack Obama

WhiteHouse.gov - the official website of the President of the Umited States of America, Barack Obama.

"President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. To send questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff, please use the form below:"

Contact the White House web message form.

Please use this form to remind them just how counterproductive, and damaging to US national interests, especially to their supposedly changed international reputation, putting Gary McKinnon on trial in the USA would be.

Extradition Watch

Extradition_Watch_logo_150.gif

Extradition Watch campaign to reform the Extradition Act 2003 by Liberty Human Rights .

You can download a PDF Paper Aeroplane and then photograph it, in support of Gary McKinnon

Donation via PayPal

Click on the PayPal Donations button above, to make a secure credit card or direct debit or PayPal account financial contribution to help support this FreeGary.org.uk blog website.

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Comments Policy

This blog operates a reasonably tolerant blog comments policy.

You are free to condemn Gary McKinnon's past stupidity, and to highlight the need for appropriate, proportionate criminal justice, all of which Gary accepts.

Please try to be polite (although you will not be banned simply for the odd expletive).

Do try to keep on topic

If you feel the need to publicise lots of URLs (especially without explanation), or lengthy articles, not directly related to Gary McKinnon's extradition case, then link to your own blog article, otherwise your comment will be filtered out as spam.

You would be very wise to read the small print of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy applied by your Internet Service Provider, company or educational institution etc. and refrain from threats or libel (including unsubstantiated allegations without any real evidence) or expressions of hatred etc. against Gary, his family or supporters, or even against groups people or organisations in the United States of America or the United Kingdom etc.

Recent Comments

  • fg: UK prosecutors, cops ponder new probe into NASA hacker McKinnon read more
  • Blair wilkins: You have had a long and exhausting struggle and at read more
  • Elliott Cooper: Finally, the right decision and outcome. This country took its read more
  • MEL CATCHPOLE: THE BRITISH GOVERMENT SHOULD GIVE GARY A JOB NOT GET read more
  • Dave: fg A trial in the UK would not be fair read more
  • romany: I just want to say my brother has Asperger’s syndrome read more
  • fg: @ Dave - so why, in your view, should there read more
  • fg: No surprise that: DPP refuses to consent to private prosecution read more
  • Dave: They really need to hurry up and send him to read more
  • fg: As expected , an adjournment until later in the month. read more
  • Elle: The application and implementation of legislation is more a convenience read more
  • manuel rodriguez gularte: el señor mc kinnon tiene todo el derecho a saber read more
  • Elle Hart, Elec.Eng.Tech: Often these days I ponder the possibility that the US read more
  • william morgan: Before extraditing someone the following should apply: (1)relevant evidence against read more
  • fg: Photos of Janis Sharp and supporters at No.10 Downing Street: read more

Photos of Gary

Gary_McKinnon_150_min.jpg

Gary_McKinnon_Bow_Street_Magistrates_24_Nov_2005_600.jpg Gary McKinnon outside Bow Street Magistrates' Court, London, 24th November 2005

Bow_Street_Magistrates_Gary_McKinnon_24_Nov_2005_600.jpg Gary McKinnon outside Bow Street Magistrates' Court, London, 24th November 2005

Gary_McKinnon_Janis_Sharp_15Jan2009_150min.jpg Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the Doughty Street Chambers press conference 15 January 2009

Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the Doughty Street Chambers press conference 15 January 2009 (click the image for a larger version in a new window)

gary-janis-mayday_150.jpg Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the May Day Bank Holioday 2010 balloon release event event near the Houses of Parliament

Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp at the May Day Bank Holiday 2010 balloon release event event near the Houses of Parliament (click the image for a larger version in a new window)

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Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, <strong>without any prima facie evidence</strong> or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Thanks to Putfile.com for hosting one of these links locally on their servers. The over half a million hits this site took in 24 hours when they were linking directly, is welcome publicity, but was costing us a lot of bandwidth !

About this blog

This blog website is intended to support British citizen Gary McKinnon, who is facing "fast track" extradition to the USA (after over five six seven eight nine ten years since his initial arrest !). Gary was indicted by a US court in November 2002, accused of "hacking" into over 90 US Military computer systems from here in the UK. The unjust treatment of British citizens (and others) when facing the might of the US Military "justice" system, which practices detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and stands accused of making use of torture by allied regimes ("extraordinary rendition") is an ongoing scandal. It cannot be excused even by a "war on terror". It seems only just that Gary should face any charges in a British court, and to serve any sentence, if he is found guilty, in a British prison. N.B. With the good news that Gary will not now be extradited to the USA, this blog will continue to raise awareness of the issues raised by Gary's case and others who have suffered unjustly through the UK's one sided extradition arrangements with the USA and to a lesser extent, Europe.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

info@freegary.org.uk

Download our PGP Public Encryption Key, if you want to make use of it to send us anything confidential.

N.B. Gary McKinnon was "not allowed to use any computer connected to the internet", as part of his bail conditions.

Is anyone more likely to have any email accounts he dared to use, monitored by the UK and US authorities ?

If you are a tv or radio or print journalist, or a freelance writer or documentary film maker, wanting to interview Gary, please include some full contact details and a contact phone number, and we will pass on your request to Gary's family.

Gary McKinnon offers Search Engine Optimisation

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Gary McKinnon is now offering low cost Search Engine Optimisation services

SmallSEO.co.uk

@Gary_SmallSEO

Follow Gary's mother on Twitter

twitter_logo_125.jpg

Gary McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp is indefatigable in support of her son, and is now using Twitter to help to keep friends and supporters informed. You can follow her "tweets" at:

https://twitter.com/JanisSharp/

https://tweetstorm4gary.wordpress.com/ #TweetsStorm's in support of Gary Mckinnon.

Media Links and Videos

Links to media interviews and video clips about Gary McKinnon's extradition case, featuring Gary, his mother Janis Sharpe and other supporters, can be found at:

http://www.londontv.net/latestnews.htm

Petitions in support of Gary McKinnon and others

Several people have expressed interest in "signing a petition" in support of Gary's plight.

N.B. the anti-road pricing / snooping petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website achieved 1,791,942 signatures, but this was rubbished and ignored by the Labour Government under Tony Blair, so do not expect too much of what will inevitably be much smaller petitions in support of Gary McKinnon.

This PledgeBank Pledge (not quite the same as a traditional petition), resulted in lots of people actua;lly taking the time and trouble to write to the then Home Secretary John Reid - so many that the Home Office stopped sending back indfividual replies.

http://www.pledgebank.com/FreeGary

This Pledge closed on 8th June 2006, and attracted 745 pledge signatures.


People have petitoned the Prime Minister (Tony Blair):

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ GaryMcKinnon/

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the extradition to the US of accused hacker Gary McKinnon.

This petition closed on 27 August 2007 with 876 Signatures.


There is a petition on a web petitons site, which is open for signature:

Stop the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the United States

We the undersigned urge Gordon Brown and the UK Government to consider the evidence and if appropriate prosecute Gary McKinnon, an Asperger Syndrome sufferer, in UK courts rather than allow him to be extradited to the US for offences relating to accessing US Government computers in 2001.


There is another current No 10 Downing Street website Petition to the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown):

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/US-extradition/

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Scrap the US/UK extradition treaty


Another Petiton (August 2009): Sign up 4 Gary McKinnon:

We, the undersigned, call on the Prime Minster Of the UK and Alan Johnson and the UK Government, for Gary to be tried in the UK- FREE GARY.

Petition to Stop the Gary McKinnon extradition to the United States (November 24th 2009)

We the undersigned urge Gordon Brown and the UK Government to consider the evidence and if appropriate prosecute Gary McKinnon, an Asperger Syndrome sufferer, in UK courts rather than allow him to be extradited to the US for offences relating to accessing US Government computers in 2001.

Blog Links

Spy Blog - Privacy and Civil Liberties commentary and campaigns

Rat's Blog - The Reverend Rat comments on London street life and technology

Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

Legal Links

Kaim Todner - solicitors

November 2002 Grand Jury Indictment (.pdf)

November 2002 Grand Jury Indictment with all the "censored" IP addresses revealed by "cut and paste".

Virginia Indictment - November 2002 Department of Justice press release

New Jersey Indictment - November 2002 Department of Justice press release

New Jersey indictment - full text

Military Commission Order No. 1 (.pdf) - signed by President George W. Bush, March 21st 2002.

Extradition Act 2003

Computer Misuse Act 1990

Read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office official online  and printed copies of the unbalanced USA - UK Extradition Treaty - it even uses American English words and spellings e.g "offenses" and "authorize" ! Extradition Treaty between the UK and the United States of America with Exchange of Notes Presented to Parliament: June 2007 (.pdf)

Statewatch's analysis of the civil rights defects in the UK-US Extradition treaty

Oral Evidence on UK-US Extradition Treaty given to the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs on 22nd November 2005 given by Senior District Judge Tim Workman; Ms Sally Ireland, Senior Legal Officer, JUSTICE; Andy Burnham MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office

International Extradition Blog - by McNabb Associates a law firm that specialises in international extradition cases.

The Appeal Court Judgement issued on 3rd April 2007 is now online via the BAILII database

The House of Lords Judgment - 30th July 2008:

McKinnon (Appellant) v Government of the United States of America (Respondents) and another

Gary McKinnon's statement to the Director of Public Prosecutions, January 2009, published by Computer Weekly: US took 39 months to demand McKinnon's extradition.

McKinnon v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 170 (Admin) (23 January 2009) - Oral Hearing which allowed a Judicial review on the Asperger's Syndrome aspects of the case, to be held some time after 16th March 2009

Computer Weekly have published Crown Prosecution Service Review Note 3, which explains some of the reasons why the CPS found insufficient evidence to prosecute Gary in the UK, including some inadmissable hearsay, and doubts that some of the alleged computer foresnic evidence was up to the ACPO guidlines for ensuring an untampered chain of evidence, and doubts about the unproven amount of alleged financial damage being claimed.

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute have published the text of the two combined Judicial Review Judgments made against Gary McKinnon which were handed down on Friday 31st July 2009:

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr. Justice Wilkie's refusal to allow Gary McKinnon's case to be certified to go up to the Supreme Court on appeal,handed down on Friday 9th October 2009.

McKinnon, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Home Affairs [2009] EWHC 2449 (Admin) (09 October 2009) URL: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2009/2449.html Cite as: [2009] EWHC 2449 (Admin)

Other Links

London 2600 - open monthly meeting which discusses IT Security and Technology etc., from both sides of the fence.

Egypt 2600 - just like London 2600, but in Egypt, also interested in the Gary McKinnon's case.

School of the Americas Watch - information on the notorious "School of the Americas" renamed to the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The Disclosure Project serious research about possible UFOs

Wikipedia entry for Gary McKinnon - has links to several media interviews etc.

Scottish Human Rights website inspired by thinking about Gary McKinnon's case, and realising that similar things could so easily happen to you. The law in Scotland is somewhat different from the rest of the United Kingdom.

free_babar_ahmad.jpg
Free Babar Ahmad - another British (Muslim) IT worker, also facing extradition to the USA, also at risk of a Military Tribunal.

FriendsExtradited.org - campaign support for the Enron / NatWest 3 bankers - David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew facing extradition extradited to the USA for alleged crimes committed in the UK.

Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland - an Irish Republican politician arrested in Belfast, also facing extradition to the USA for alleged crimes committed in the UK or in Russia.

www.notoextradition.co.uk - petiton Labour MPs to support the amendments to the Extradition Act 2003 passed by the House of Lords to the Police and Justice Bill, when it comes before the House of Commons at Report Stage on the 9th and 10th of October 2006. About 50 Labour MPs are required, as all of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and most of the other minor Opposition parties are committed to support these amendments.

Howes Family Extradition Fight - amother extraordinary extradition case to the USA.

Financial appeal to sue the UK Government - Ross Hemsworth, an online radio presenter of paranormal and UFO investigations, is trying to taise £5000 to initiate legal proceedings, with the help of top human rights law firm Bindmans LLP, against the Home Secretary, to "challenge the government's refusal to review the unjust and one-sided extradition treaty with the USA."

www.garymckinnon.tk - support website for Gary McKinnon by Ed Johnson.

Gary the musician

Gary McKinnon is, amongst other things, a musician and songwriter.

You can download a couple of his songs from the low budget film Lunar Girl which was produced in 2001.

The video from this film of Only Fool, still available on YouTube, was very popular on MySpace, until it got censored.

How not to research a thesis on Gary McKinnon

This blog tries to be helpful to journalists, documenatry film makers, book researchers etc. who are researching the background of the Gary McKinnon extradition story.

For those academic thesis supervisors using search engines or academic plagiarism detection tools, here is an example of how not to "research" a thesis or dissertation about the Gary McKinnon extradition case.

See the comments by "Eye4Lies" in the comments on starting at House of Lords Judgment against Gary McKinnon now online and again at European Court of Human Rights to hear Gary McKinnon's application against extradition to the USA on 28th August 2008