back to article McKinnon’s mum 'snubbed' by Home Secretary

Gary McKinnon's mum was unable to put a personal plea to the Home Secretary when the two met in Parliament on Wednesday. During a break in a Home Affairs select committee hearing, Janis Sharp attempted to discuss her son's extradition case with Alan Johnson, who agreed to shake her hand before walking away in silence. Sharp …

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Anonymous Coward

if I was her, I'd be very worrried

Alan Johnson has shown consistently that he only listens to Daily Mail headlines.

Oh wait, the DM have taken up Gary's cause. Hooray, he's saved!

/sarcasm

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"no discretion over the extradition process"

... why is it that no-one seems to have any say over this other than the Americans.

smells like BS to me.

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Dead Vulture

Racing "The Scum" to the bottom?

I've no great fondness for the NuLab idiots, but even so if you want to write nasty articles about them do us all a favour and wait until they do something deserving of a nasty article. After all, it's not as though it'd be a long wait most days.

Inventing smears based on what you'd like to have happened ("McKinnon’s mum 'snubbed'") rather than what did ("[She] told El Reg that she neither felt frustrated nor snubbed by the encounter.") helps no one.

And using coy little quotes in the title then adding a link in the penultimate paragraph to another site that makes the same smear doesn't let you off the hook either.

Surprising as it may seem, I had expected more regard for the truth from El Reg.

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Costs

I have an idea, get America to send us the Shrub to stand trial for his crimes, and maybe we will send them a criminal of equal import (not some idiot hacker)

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Anonymous Coward

Let's hope justice prevails

Let's hope justice prevails and that McKinnon is shipped to the U.S. and prosecuted for his crimes like any other criminal. 50 years in the slammer would be a good learning experience for Gary.

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FAIL

Booooo

I'm bored with McKinnon now, can we move on?

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Flame

Hang on...

"McKinnon's mum earlier told a committee of MPs that her self-confessed hacker and autism sufferer son would rather die than face extradition and trial to the US for breaking into government computer networks."

I'm sorry...could you repeat that?

The USA: A fate worse than death (apparently).

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A modest proposal

If NuLabour had any balls they'd refuse all American extradition requests until they also ratify the agreement and start accepting British extradition requests accompanied by the same level of evidence.

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Alert

@Jeremy 3

It is all BS, but BS that the Gov't willingly accepted to cozy up to the Yanks. The treaty is heavily weighted in their favour and one can only assume a big brown envelope changed hands in exchange for a signature or two there, bog-standard ZaNuLabour policy.

Personally, and I know I shall probably be flamed and flamed well for saying it - I think he should be extradited. It matters not how biased the agreement is as he confessed, if he goes to the states he'll still get a fair trial where his medical condition will be considered in court just as it would here.

And that 'Gary would rather die than be extradited remark' won't help their case one bit, any suicide risk now looks like it would be from a premeditated decision and not depression, autism or apsergers - not a clever thing to say regardless of how it was supposed to sound.

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Pirate

Funny you mention Shrub

Thats what Bill Hicks used to call the Older Bush(also Reagan Lite) - so what does that make his little boy? Leaf? Twig? or maybe something a lot more insulting........

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Stop

Just take anyone you want

'Sharp added that the Home Secretary was probably wary "I'd do a Joanna Lumley on him'

She should have done a Joanna Lumley on him. It would have been good to see him crumble on TV like the coward he is.

'Johnson - who has placed a hold on extradition proceedings against McKinnon while he considers new medical evidence - later reiterated the line that he had no discretion over the extradition process, before defending the controversial treaty'

He is the Home Secretary of course he has the power he just doesn't want to annoy the Americans and also because there's nothing in it for his government.

The treaty needs to be revised heavy to include the Americans actually providing real evidence to back up their sensationalist claims.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh p-l-e-a-s-e

He'll do what he's done on every issue, announce that the stupid policy is cancelled, then Brown will overrule him and he'll quietly continue on with it anyway.

As long as the US is determine to extradite McKinnon and as long as Labour can't call the US liars (exaggerated claim for damages to be able to take advantage of the treaty).

He'll get some patsy to say 'Asperges syndrome is no impediment to exradition' then he'll say, "my hands are tied... love to help, but can't".

Such is the way of cowards. He won't do his job of rejected extradition claims where the terms of the treaty are not met, he'll simply sacrifice a few brits. There's no ECHR equivalent for the US-UK for McKinnon to get his rights either, and no political will to upset the US.

The treaty is a lapdog treaty, it was wrong for Tony Blair to remove protections for Brits, he should not have put his loyalty to the US above British interests, the evidence for extradition should be viewed by the UK court, just like it is by the US court the other way.

This is yet another reason why Europe CANNOT consider lapdog Tony Blair for a senior role in the EU. There was a good reason WE GOT RID OF HIM in the UK, he was not acting in our interests. He did no leave in triumph, he left in disgrace.

Juncker for EU president, because he considers mass snooping a violation of individuals privacy rights, and he's the only candidate to say that in the face of US demands.

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@ac 15:33

Let's indeed hope justice prevails. Unlike you I am willing to let justice take it's course. Out of interest how do you combine your view that he should go to jail for 50 years with your view that justice (innocent until proven guilty in a court of law) should prevail.

Even the Americans uphold innocence until proven otherwise.

Perhaps your justice is that of Stalin or the Daily Mail instead?

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Bronze badge

Ho hum

"Let's hope justice prevails and that McKinnon is shipped to the U.S. and prosecuted for his crimes like any other criminal. 50 years in the slammer would be a good learning experience for Gary."

Let's indeed hope justice prevails but you seem to have already decided his guilt so rather hollow words and this is exactly why this case is important.

His admission that he 'hacked into' a US system is one thing, being the right-hand man of the Emperor Ming, cohort of Bin Laden, Abu Hamza's hook-polisher and responsible for a trillion dollars of damage to US security is another.

Okay that's hyperbole but the important thing in this case is that the US claim appears just as much hyperbole and there's a serious risk that the US will punish him as an example rather than for what he did do. The UK, barring Home Secretary intervention, seems delighted to hand him over regardless of his possible fate and without needing any evidence that he did do what he is accused of ( beyond snooping around where he shouldn't have ).

The US will not hand over Americans to Britain in the same circumstances, so why isn't McKinnon entitled to the same standard of due process as Americans are in their country ? Could it be that New Labour have sold our sovereignty to the US of A ?

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Big Brother

Allow me to correct that for you

"Johnson - who has placed a hold on extradition proceedings against McKinnon while he considers new medical evidence"

Should read

"Johnson - who has placed a hold on extradition proceedings against McKinnon while he ignores new medical evidence and that contradict his prejudices"

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Anonymous Coward

I still don't get it

McKinnon's supporters are on record as saying his biggest mistake was admitting his guilt without legal representation. It appears from this (sensationalist) article it appears that he is still admitting his guilt. So what difference would legal representation have made?

It's also worth mentioning that if McKinnon is spared extradition and tried here he'd better be aware that he can never leave the UK and visit any country friendly with the US. You can be pretty damn sure that should he visit the wrong country the US will have him arrested and extradited from there instead. They won't drop it if some lily livered British judge gives him a couple of hours community service. The US (quite rightly) believes that our legal system stinks and issues overly lenient sentences, so they'll still be after him. Bear in mind that we have judges over here who will give somebody community service for raping a child.

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more scare mongering

The Register Editor : come on chaps, i know we are a tech news site but where is the sensationalism? Cant you run a piece on celeb sightings, the stupid public love that shit

The Register Journalist : Well i was reading some shite about Mckinnon's mum crying in the Telegraph the other day, i could just plagiarise that?

The Register Editor: oh the story where Alan Johnson snubbed her? Didnt she say that he had nothing to do with her crying?

The Register Journalist: yeah but the public will just start commenting on the injustice of the whole thing and forget that my story was utter bollocks with no basis in the realms of fact.

If your going to lift and cover most of your articles, can you just lift and cover the true stories please?

oh forget it, this was the straw that broke the camels back. I'm not reading this crap anymore.

You just lost an Ad viewer.

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Anonymous Coward

How high, Mr President?

Mrs Sharp - "Surely the Home Secretary can say to America: the treaty is being abused."

My dear - every treaty we've ever had with the Americans has been soundly abused by them - that has always been the point of the "special relationship". They say "Jump!" and our brown-nosed politicians ask "How high?" And we don't even get to vote for the President who effectively rules us...

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@AC 11/11/9 17:17

>>"He'll get some patsy to say 'Asperges syndrome is no impediment to exradition' ..."

Why should it be an impediment to extradition?

Is it much of an impediment to imprisoning someone *here* if they break the law?

I'd wonder how much consideration a UK judge would take of a defence suggestion that their client *might* find punishment somewhat more unpleasant than *some* other people might find it?

Now, if the argument was that a US sentence would potentially be disproportionate to what he actually did, and would be largely a case of arse-covering from people who weren't competent enough to secure their computer systems adequately, an argument which would seem to have a lot going for it, that would be the case whether he had Aspergers or not.

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Flame

Give me America or give me death

Hmmmmm, tough choice that one.

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FAIL

Jason Bloomberg Posted Wednesday 11th November 2009 18:02 GMT

"Could it be that New Labour have sold our sovereignty to the US of A ?"

No... Our government is already paying the equivalent of £40 million per day and rising, for the European Commission to take it off our hands!

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Headmaster

The extradition treaty is NOT lopsided

Before I start, let me say that personally, I think that Gary should be tried in the UK. End of.

That said, the extradition treaty does NOT appear to be lopsided in practice. At least, not in the way that most people seem to think.

Alan Johnson gave some figures during the Select Ctte hearing: 39 people extradited from the US to the UK with no quibble at all from the Yanks. None have been held back.

OTOH, there are 7 people the US wants the UK to handover to them who are presently being held back from the US because their case is up before the EUCHR.

If the extradition treaty were unbalanced in favour of the Yanks, you would expect those figures to be the other way around, wouldn't you?

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Boffin

@brianj

"Alan Johnson gave some figures during the Select Ctte hearing: 39 people extradited from the US to the UK with no quibble at all from the Yanks. None have been held back.

OTOH, there are 7 people the US wants the UK to handover to them who are presently being held back from the US because their case is up before the EUCHR."

Can you quote a source for your figures? After a bit of googling, I found figures from The Telegraph* that suggest the UK has extradited 56 Britons compared with 26 from the US.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5926783/Most-Britons-extradited-to-US-are-jailed-before-trial.html

"If the extradition treaty were unbalanced in favour of the Yanks, you would expect those figures to be the other way around, wouldn't you?"

As the population of the US is slightly less than 5 times that of the UK, I would expect the US to have extradited 250 of its citizens. So what explains the discrepancy?

Brits are more likely to crime in the US?

UK law enforcers are more lassez-faire than their US counterparts?

The US/UK Extradition Treaty is unbalanced?

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@brianj, Red Bren

Surely, the relevant figures are how many 'dubious' extradition cases there are in either direction?

Are there any figures for that?

The *total* numbers don't necessarily mean a great deal without context - people being extradited who clearly should be extradited don't seem to be a great issue, and the numbers there can reflect the relative numbers of people committing crimes, the eagerness of one or other country to follow them up and try to get them back for trial, etc.

The issue of how much evidence one or other country need provide doesn't seem a practical one unless people actually are being extradited where ultimately it turns out that there isn't such evidence.

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@ brianj

"Alan Johnson gave some figures during the Select Ctte hearing: 39 people extradited from the US to the UK with no quibble at all from the Yanks. None have been held back.

OTOH, there are 7 people the US wants the UK to handover to them who are presently being held back from the US because their case is up before the EUCHR."

So 39 people have been extradited from the US because UK presented evidence. On the other hand, among a non-specified non-evidence-backed extradition demands from the US, 7 have been held back pending local examination -presumably for being even more preposterous than the bulk of the other, granted requests. How does it make the treaty not lopsided? It doesn't change the fact that the US don't have to back their claims whereas UK has to. And it doesn't say how many brits were extradited -without evidence- to the US as a counterpoint to the 39 evidence-based yank extraditions. From the numbers you cite it could be 40 gazillions requests, of which 7 has been delayed (not even denied, just delayed).

See, I drink less than the missus: she usually has 3 half pints in a typical night out, of which zero are left unfinished. Me on the other hand, leave on average 1 non-empty glass. So I must drink 3 times less than she does, by your logic. Of course that's ignoring the fact that I drink a dozen pint before not being able to finish the last. Details, details...

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