So many unanswered questions, so little time. Or interest.
Does El Reg have shares in McKinnon or something?
The man did a lot of stupid things and deserves to be tried for it. Whether he was after UFOs or mil. secrets is completely irrelevant. If someone hacked into my bank's systems to prove that my bank manager had seen the Loch Ness Monster, rather than to steal my money, I would still want him tried.
Maybe some of this comes down to what was accessed, what was compromised and what the owners of the systems felt the real intention was. I agree with the Reg that double standards should not apply; however, the maxim 'let the punishment fit the crime' also applies.
There is more to the McKinnon case than meets the eye, I feel. Whether it is the respective governments that are hiding things, or if it is McKinnon who isn't telling the whole truth, or both - we may never know.
I also suspect that there are legal reasons for the difference in the way the two have been treasted. If McKinnon had been tried in the UK, the US judiciary may not have allowed a US trial under the double jeopardy rules (no, not the game show). However a Romanian trial may not carry such weight and therefore the Romanian dude could well get whacked again. Also, extradition treaties may make it difficult to actually extradite and try the Romanian in the US. What are the US/Romanian extradition treaties like? Do they exist? If it's hard to get the man legally extradited for trial in the US, maybe that's why they are happy to let him be tried at home.
Perhaps the Reg could do more digging on that angle?