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 but 60 years is maximum they could impose.)
Gary was diagnosed over one year ago as having Lifetime Aspergers Syndrome. 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 where a sentence proportionate to the crime would likely be given.
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 delayed requesting Gary’s extradition arrest because of a then unratified, unsigned extradition treaty between the two countries as this treaty makes it much easier for them to extradite any British
citizen for trial in the US.
Yet, when first arrested in London, Gary was told he would be facing a likely sentence of six months community service for his hacking activities.
Gary naively admitted computer misuse before he had engaged a lawyer and without a lawyer even being present.
Gary was eccentric, immature for his age and naive in many ways but the family wereÂ unaware at that time that Gary 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, in fact the opposite is true.
The CPS refusal to prosecute Gary here was clearly done to allow the Americans to arrest him three years and three months later, once the one-sided extradition treaty was introduced and then used retrospectively. Although the text of the extradition treaty itself says it must not be used retrospectively.
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, very recently the U.S prosecutors stated in interviews, that once Gary was extradited, the most difficult thing to prove would be the alleged 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 U.S law to 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 anyÂ 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 seven and a half years ago and the U.S have 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
We must now keep up the pressure on the Home Office and government to halt the proposed extradition and to allow Gary to be tried in the U.K
Please write to Peter Mandelson, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson and your own MP, MEP, Barack Obama, the White House or whoever to demand that they refuse to extradite this vulnerable man. Draw attention to the injustice, extremely flawed extradition treaty and the fact that we were told that this treaty was to be used for terrorists and Gary is clearly not a terrorist as admitted by U.K and U.S prosecutors when Gary was first arrested.
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.
In fact at Gary’s last court hearing for the first time we got disclosure from the CPS and the lawyer had marked the evidence given to them by the U.S as NO EVIDENCE/HEARSAY. In fact no actual evidence whatsoever of any damage has ever been given to the CPS.
After seeing the disclosure from the CPS, at Gary’s last hearing the U.K Judges when responding to the allegations of damage said “and pigs might fly”.
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. The British public were also told it was to be used for terrorists but so far it is being used mainly against white collar workers such as 10 British Airways Executives and Ian Norris who is a 66year old business man suffering from cancer and Gary, a computer geek who was searching for evidence of information on UFO’s, Free energy and anti gravity which Gary believed was being supressed by the U.S government.
It is also being used against families such as the Howes family in Scotland who are also fighting extradition.
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 not only started being used in 2004 but was also used retrospectively 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 used retrospectively when the very text of the treaty itself says it cannot be used retrospectively.
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 the recent events under this treaty have proved that we urgently need to introduce a statute of limitations with regard to any extradition request for a non violent crime.
No extradition should ever take place without a PrimaFacie case being given.
Why should U.K citizens have fewer rights than U.S citizens and fewer rights than any other country in the world with regard to extradition.Â We demand equality now. We demand equality and that no extradition of any one of our nationals should ever take place without actual evidence being given that can be contested in a U.K court before extradition can take place.
We also demand that extradition should only be used for serious crimes such as murder and real terrorism and that it should not be used frivolously and irresponsibly by the U.S and other countries against British nationals.
We demand and expect Equal rights for the U.KÂ
Kevin Healey Chairman Founder of Staffordhire Adults Autistic Society