March 2012 Archives

The Home Affairs Committee published Yet Another Report on Extradition on Friday 31st March 2012t:

This says nothing new about the United Kingdom's unique extradition arrangement with the United States of America,

20. Mr Bermingham told us that the UK is one of only three countries in which the US does not have to produce prima facie evidence for extradition. The others are France, which will not extradite its own citizens to the USA, and the Republic of Ireland, which has a higher forum test than the UK.[32] Witnesses from Fair Trials International, JUSTICE and Liberty all argued that there should be a prima facie evidence test for extradition from the UK.[33]

This has all been said before, by the current Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers, when they were in Opposition to the previous Labour government.

7. The Committee is proposing significant changes to the extradition arrangements between the US and the UK not because we are critical of the American justice system but because we recognise the importance of robust extradition arrangements between our two countries. Such extradition arrangements are now threatened by loss of public confidence in the UK and there is a risk that, with time, that lack of confidence will translate into wider disaffection. We believe that the Government should act now to restore public faith in the Treaty by rebalancing the requirements for the provision of information, urgently opening negotiations about the re-introduction of an evidence test, and introducing a forum bar. The Committee believes that these changes will allow for a fair and balanced system of justice between the US and the UK as regards extradition. (Paragraph 36)

This Extradition scandal has already caused a "loss of public confidence" which is continuing to generate "wider disaffection" both with the UK political "elite" and with the United States government and people.

Any changes to the Treaty and to the notorious Extradition Act 2003 will come too late for those who are currently suffering the Kafkaesque bureacratic and political nightmare right now e.g.. Gary McKinnon, Babar Ahmad, Richard O'Dwyer etc.

However, the Government could, as a first step, immediatly Commence by Order the existing forum bar legislation which has already been passed by Parliament, but which both they and the previous Labour government have deliberately ignored for the last 6 years:

27. There is a provision in the Police and Justice Act 2006 which amends the Extradition Act 2003 to introduce a forum bar. Section 83A provides that:

(1) A person's extradition to a category 2 territory ("the requesting territory") is barred by reason of forum if (and only if) it appears that--

(a) a significant part of the conduct alleged to constitute the extradition offence is conduct in the United Kingdom, and

(b) in view of that and all the other circumstances, it would not be in the interests of justice for the person to be tried for the offence in the requesting territory.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the judge must take into account whether the relevant prosecution authorities in the United Kingdom have decided not to take proceedings against the person in respect of the conduct in question.[38]

This provision was inserted by an Opposition amendment in the House of Lords and it has not yet been commenced. The Secretary of State is not required to bring the provision into force unless a resolution to that effect is passed by both Houses of Parliament, though she may do so without such resolutions.[39]

One suspicious and unwelcome feature in this Report is the prominence which they give to the Annex: Statement to the Committee by United States Ambassador Louis B. Sussman

Why is this Statement (which misleads through ommission) displayed, as part of the Conclusions, so much more promininttly than any of the other Written or Oral Evidence given to the Committee, including that from the British Prime Minister and the Home Secretary ?


Back in July 2010 we reported PM David Cameron raises the Gary McKinnon extradition case with President Barack Obama

Today the BBC reports:

Cameron wants review of UK-US extradition rules

14 March 2012 Last updated at 17:44

David Cameron has said he wants to review how extradition arrangements are working between the UK and US in the light of recent controversial cases.

The prime minister raised the subject during talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House.

[...]

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron had raised the issue about how extradition rules are operating in practice during two hours of talks at the White House on Wednesday. The prime minister is in the middle on a three-day official visit to the United States.

[...]

2003 treaty

Concerns have been raised about the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty following controversial cases involving British citizens such as Christopher Tappin and Gary McKinnon.

Concerns have been raised about the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty following controversial cases involving British citizens such as Christopher Tappin and Gary McKinnon.

[...]

Mr Tappin, a retired businessman, was extradited to the US last month for allegedly selling batteries for Iranian missiles, charges he denies.

He says he has been treated unfairly by the UK justice system and his human rights have been breached - although the extradition request was authorised by the home secretary and later approved by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Mr McKinnon faces extradition to the US on charges of hacking into US military computer systems and endangering national security.

No !!

You would have thought that after 10 years of interviews and reporting by the BBC, they would get important details like this correct by now.

There are no allegations whatsoever against Gary McKinnon about "endangering national security"

He is not charged with any espionage or terrorism offences.

The US prosecuters e.g. Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, were at pains to point this out back in 2002, to reassure the public that Gary was working alone, with no foreign intelliegence agency or terrorist or organised crime connections whatsoever and that national security had not been compromised.

He admits hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

His family have fought a long campaign against his extradition, saying Mr McKinnon - who suffers from Asperger's syndrome - is highly vulnerable and sending him for trial in the US could seriously damage his health.

[...]

So what have Cameron and Obama actually done about the notorious US / UK Extradition arrangements over the last 20 months ?

Nothing tangible at all - the Guantanamo Bay concentation camp is stilloperating and the Extradition Act 2003 is still in force.

The Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition Government have not even bothered to Commence the slightly amended Extradition Act 2003 section 19B Forum for Category 1 territories and the identically worded Extradition Act 2003 section 83A Forum for Category 2 territories (including the USA).

which they managed to get from the grudging Labour control freaks in the previous government, which would allow a UK Judge the leeway to give proper conderation of "legal forum":

83A Forum

(1)A person's extradition to a category 2 territory ("the requesting territory") is barred by reason of forum if (and only if) it appears that--

(a)a significant part of the conduct alleged to constitute the extradition offence is conduct in the United Kingdom, and

(b)in view of that and all the other circumstances, it would not be in the interests of justice for the person to be tried for the offence in the requesting territory.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the judge must take into account whether the relevant prosecution authorities in the United Kingdom have decided not to take proceedings against the person in respect of the conduct in question.

(3)This section does not apply if the person is alleged to be unlawfully at large after conviction of the extradition offence

This perfectly sensible amendment to the original Act, was made via the Police and Justice Act 2006 Schedule 13 paragraph 5 (2), has deliberatley still not yet been brought into force by either the previous Labour or the current Coalition governments, even after over 5 years laying dormant on the Statute Book.

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