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First Published Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Gary McKinnon

Posted by Tom Espiner

Gary McKinnon, the man accused of hacking Nasa and Pentagon computers, will have his oral judicial review hearing on 20 Jan, according to the Free Gary McKinnon website.

The judicial review will decide whether to overturn Jacqui Smith’s decision that McKinnon be extradited to the US to face the hacking charges. McKinnon was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autistic spectrum.

Source:   http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10009902o-2000331828b,00.htm

McKinnon’s fate decided on Obama day

Myspace pop video makes a comeback

THE FATE of Pentagon Hacker Gary McKinnon will be decided by a UK judge on the same day that Barak Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States.

The UK’s High Court has set 20 January as the day when it decides whether to grant McKinnon a judicial review, his last legal recourse against extradition to the US where he will face hacking charges and a possible 60 years in prison.

McKinnon’s supporters see the coincidence of his hearing with Obama’s inauguration as a good omen. They think his hacking charges were trumped up by a Bush administration hell-bent on vindictive justice. They think that under Obama, justice will shine a favourable light on Gary’s case.

“Is it just a coincidence, or are the officials who set the court dates waving a couple of fingers at President George W Bush and his… henchmen, who officially hand over power to President-elect Barak Obama on the same day, Tuesday 20th January 2009?,” reads the website for Gary’s campaigners.

Obama’s arrival is being anticipated like King Arthur’s awakening from his sleep at Avalon. But it won’t do Gary any favours if his application for a judicial review is thrown out on the same day that the world’s media is celebrating the Coming of the King.

With his legal recourse running thin, his popular support will be all his campaign has to fall back on. The opportunity Gary has on 20 January is elaborate: The High Court has agreed to allow Edward Fitzgerald QC, a renowned human rights lawyer, to make an oral application for a legal review of the decision taken by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith not to reconsider Gary’s extradition order after his diagnosis in the summer with Asperger’s Syndrome, a psychological condition that will make it hard for him to bear the pressures of incarceration.

Fitzgerald had already made a written application for a judicial review on 17 October. It was refused. The oral application is not likely to differ in substance, but is allowed on the basis that an oral representation to a judge can be more persuasive.

If his application fails, Gary will have no other way to secure a trial for his hacking charges in the UK bar his popular campaign. It is fitting then that Gary has re-launched his popular music video after Myspace removed it last month.

You can see it here.

Source:   http://www.theinquirer.net/feeds/rss/generic/en/GB/inq/latest/gb/inquirer/gb/inquirer/news/2008/12/01/mckinnon-fate-decided-obama-day

London hacker tries one more time to avoid extradition over Pentagon

Demonstrators ask Barack Obama to intervene

Jeremy Kirk

A London systems administrator who hacked into US military computers in 2001 and 2002 will have another chance to make his case of why he shouldn’t be extradited to the US.

A High Court judge will decide on 20 January whether another court should review Gary McKinnon’s case again, said Karen Todner, his attorney. If the judge approves the request, a further hearing would be scheduled later next year in the High Court, Todner said.

McKinnon, from Wood Green, North London, was indicted in November 2002 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on charges related to illegally accessing and damaging US government computers.

McKinnon maintains he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The UK government approved his extradition in 2006, but McKinnon filed several appeals in UK courts, losing them all. The European Court of Human Rights rejected another appeal in August.

That ruling appeared to clear the way for McKinnon to be sent to the US. But McKinnon applied once again for a written review of the case, which was rejected. However, McKinnon could still ask for an oral review, which will occur on 20 January.

McKinnon’s extradition order has since been put on hold pending the latest challenge, Todner said.

European Court of Human Rights

If the judge rejects the review, McKinnon could appeal once again to the European Court of Human Rights but on new grounds, she said.

McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by obsessive behaviour and deficiencies in social interaction.

The condition means McKinnon may have an argument that if he is extradited, found guilty and sentenced, he should be allowed to serve his sentence in the UK.

On October 30, 80 members of Parliament signed an early-day motion urging that the UK government get assurances from the US that McKinnon could serve his sentence in the UK due to his medical state.

The soft-spoken McKinnon has admitted to his hacking but said he did not believe it caused damage. The US government alleges it cost at least $700,000 and caused the shutdown of critical military networks shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

McKinnon has not been incarcerated as his case traversed the courts. He’s not supposed to have contact with computers and has said he has struggled to find gainful employment because of the publicity around the case.

He does have a band of supporters, however, who asked the UK government not to extradite him and held small rallies outside the US embassy in London. Those supporters are planning another demonstration in front of the US Embassy on Friday, according to a blog chronicling McKinnon’s plight.

The demonstrators plan to give a letter to the embassy asking President-elect Barack Obama to intervene once he takes office on Janauary 20.

Source:   http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyle/news/index.cfm?newsid=23787

Protest at US embassy against UK extradition treaty

Posted: 2008/12/04

Gary McKinnon

The rally is being organised by supporters of unemployed Scottish systems analyst Gary Mackinnon who is facing extradition for hacking into computer systems

belonging to the US military in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

A protest demonstration is being held outside the American Embassy

in London on Friday against the UK’s

controversial extradition treaty with the US.

The rally is being organised by supporters of unemployed Scottish systems analyst Gary Mackinnon who is facing extradition for hacking into computer systems belonging to the US military in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

As part of a ‘day of action’, Mckinnon’s family is also handing in a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, requesting that the UK government look again at some of the fundamental issues of the way this new treaty works.
The treaty has been widely criticised including from MPs and peers for being unbalanced and not requiring the US to provide any prima facia evidence for its extradition requests.

There is also concern about the health of Mckinnon, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism disorder, and the prospect that he will face a life sentence if he is extradited.

Direct Action Against War (DAAW) campaign group, which is supporting the protests, said a letter was also being handed in to the US Embassy, calling on president-elect Obama to prove his desire for change and treat extradition cases with humanity.

Other outstanding extradition cases include former Iranian Ambassador to Jordan, Nosratollah Tajik, who was entrapped in a CIA sting operation, and Muslim computer expert, Baba Ahmed, who is awaiting a ruling by the EU human rights court.

DAAW said that the campaign against the notorious treaty was also seeking the insertion of a clause voted by MPs, effectively giving a judge the power to conclude that any crime committed in the UK can be tried in Britain to avoid unnecessary extraditions.

“This could have a positive effect for many British people facing extradition to America when they have never set foot in that country,” it said.

“We strongly feel that the Extradition Treaty should be amended to afford UK citizens the Human Rights they deserve and to give us equal rights with our American counterparts,” the campaign group said.

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