Feeds

back to article Theresa May gets a smile out of Gary McKinnon at last

Gary McKinnon's mother smiled and cried as she thanked everyone from the Home Secretary to Bob Geldof for saving her hacker son from extradition to the United States. She said that McKinnon had smiled for the first time in years on hearing the judgment today. Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon speaks at press conference, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

FAIL

If Only...

"It was only thanks to the Human Rights Act that she had the power to stop his extradition. If it wasn't there she would have had to send him over," said Fitzgerald.

If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions....

21
7
Thumb Down

Re: If Only...

We are. We took our own decision to enter into this woeful treaty. Sovereign nations are expected to abide by their treaty commitments, however, even the ill-advised ones. As it turns out, the HRA was a pretty good idea in this case.

12
0
FAIL

Re: If Only...

Would this be the same Human Rights Act that the Tories want to get rid of?

10
1
Silver badge

Re: If Only...

Timing: Now that they have got Abu Hamza out of Britain and into the US, I guess Mrs May felt she could relax a little on McKinnon.

4
0
Silver badge
Trollface

@Dave 128 Re: If Only...

I think you need to be a bit more realistic. The extradition appeals process works. While I may not buy the Asperger's ?sp? Syndrome excuse, it doesn't matter. The British Courts did and did the right thing in their mind.

You can't fault them for that.

We look at the Abu Hamza, Assange, and others that lost. Again the British Courts evaluated their arguments and the law and did the right thing.

For those who feel that sending Assange to Sweden opens him up to a US Extradition, think again and actually have faith in your judicial system.

The truth is that the UK Government just saved the US taxpayers a bunch of money on the McKinnon trial.

(IMHO it was a weak case.)

Lets be honest. If you were the US Government, who would you rather have? Abu Hamza or McKinnon?

3
0
Silver badge

Human rights act

People who complain about the human rights act should give up all of their own rights first. Have the courage of your convictions (or stfu...)

21
3
Thumb Down

Re: Human rights act

Interesting viewpoint. The problem with "rights" are that they exist with or without the law. I certainly had the right not to be persecuted before the HRA came into effect.

The HRA wasn't the start and isn't the end of your rights, it's just a nice document to point at to use in legal proceedings - vast amounts of prior case law could be used to further the same arguments that are used in HRA cases, but it's just easier to use that one.

The reason people complain about the HRA is when it's used far beyond it's actually boundaries were meant to be - like many of those cases where incarcerated prisoners use it to make life in prison easier for themselves.

It's those times when people use the letter of the law rather than the intent of the law, in all cases it tends to annoy people.

4
6
Silver badge

Re: Human rights act

The way my old man explained it to me is that in the UK, we have privileges and not rights. As good citizens, we get privilege to do certain things. If we cease being good citizens, those privileges cease as well.

I think he may have just been trying to get me to mow the lawn tbh, but this spells out how most right of centre people would like things to be.

5
1
Silver badge

Re: Human rights act

Just because people complain about the Human Rights Act it doesn't follow it's because people don't like human rights. If a new law was created that mandated that poor people be enslaved it wouldn't be called the 'Enslavement of Poor People Act', it would be called the 'Civic Duty and Responsibility Act'.

And let's face it - the Human Rights Act was invoked by Teresa May to get her out of a bind. She would have used the Witchcraft Act of 1735 if she thought it would work.

7
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Human rights act

"The way my old man explained it to me..."

The way that I look at it is that in the UK, it's the Right, safety and welfare of society which is viewed as more important than the individual (ie the safety of everyone else is more important than my right to own an uzi).

We all have a lot of rights, until we start to infringe upon the rights of others; at which time it becomes a matter of their collective rights outweighing individual ones.

Other examples: Free Speech does not extend to incitement of violence, libel, excessive noise, or acts liable to cause public offence. Right to Gather does not extend to becoming a public nuisance.

Basically: If you're using your Rights to pi$$ other people off, then they win.

Remember also that a cornerstone of our policing system is policing by consent.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Human rights act

> We all have a lot of rights

As I understand it English law works on the principle that things are legal unless specifically prohibited.

This means we don't actually have that many rights, but that's OK as we don't have that many restrictions either.

5
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Human rights act

And of course she knows that the Witchcraft Act of 1735 would not work, seeing as how it was repealed in 1951 by the Fraudulent Mediums Act...

Red FAIL thingy for you, sorry.

2
6
Silver badge
Facepalm

@Steve the Cynic

"And of course she knows that the Witchcraft Act of 1735 would not work, seeing as how it was repealed in 1951 by the Fraudulent Mediums Act..."

Oh my goodness, you're right. My erroneous choice of absurd law from the past has revealed me to be a veritable nincompoop, my lack of legal knowledge becoming my undoing.

Apologies to anybody inconvenienced by my statement. Please consult with a qualified lawyer for any legal matters you may have, and disregard my statement.

14
0
Anonymous Coward

Rights , yea right...

Err, no. In the cold light of day NOBODY has ANY ABSOLUTE RIGHTS. "Rights" are completely made up by our society. Noone is born with any special god given rights. You don't even have a right to life. You don't have a right to work, to not be offended, to be happy....ANYTHING.

Yea they look good on paper (but don't so many things we have) but when push comes to shove, your're a monkey on a rock, surrounded by other monkeys. You get the rights that those other monkeys afford you.

It's a nice feel good idea, but ultimately you get the rights your society affords you at any given time... we happen to live in a pretty good time, for most.

I'm glad Gary got off this, although it's a fucking disgrace it took so long.

6
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Human rights act

> in the UK, we have privileges and not rights.

I'd say that rights are actually the other side of the coin to duties, and that looking at things only as rights is a selfish attitude. For example, one could say that a disabled person has the _right_ to ease of access to a public building. Fair enough, but what that means is that those of us who are fortunate enough not to be disabled have a _duty_ to provide that ease of access.

JFK put it better at his inaguration: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.". Might sound twee now, but he was right.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Human rights act

"As I understand it English law works on the principle that things are legal unless specifically prohibited."

And another key point is that it is dished out from the point of view of what a reasonable man-in-the-street would call justice and is dependant on circumstance; rather than being an absolute, arbitrated by rotes handed down by the State.

That's the theory, anyway.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Human rights act

Probably because that act was repealed by the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.

Otherwise many holders of the office of police constable would have stakes hammered into their lawns in preparation.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Human rights act

It also works on the principle that so many things are so vaguely illegal that nobody really knows what's illegal until the courts get around to deciding !

1
0

Re: Rights , yea right...

The same could be said about 'money' and 'ownership', both just constructs. That which nature grants us all is hoarded by a few at the expense of many.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Human rights act

The way my old man explained it to me is that in the UK, we have privileges and not rights. As good SUBJECTS, we get privilege to do certain things. If we cease being good SUBJECTS, those privileges cease as well.

I think he may have just been trying to get me to mow the lawn tbh, but this spells out how most right of centre people would like things to be.

There! fixed it for you, now mow that effing lawn!

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Human rights act

We're all SUBJECT to the law. If you're trying to make some distinction between being SUBJECTS and being CITIZENS, I suggest you recheck what it says in a British passport. The designation "British Subject" hasn't been widely used for 60-odd years, and was largely discontinued about 30 years ago. It didn't mean what you think it did anyway.

0
0

Re: Rights , yea right...

@AC 14:19

Incorrect: In the UK, we do have *some* rights. These are set out in the law and have existed for quite a long time, now.

An example is the right of access. As a land owner, I have the right, as defined and protected by the law, to access my land. It I rent that land out, I confer that right to the person renting the land. When that rental agreement expires, the right resorts back to me.

Example: We have the right of way along defined routes crossing otherwise private land. The land owner has a duty not to obstruct our use of that route, although we also have a duty not to stray off that route.

The problem is so many people claim they have rights where they do not. They believe that, when the law does not forbid something, then they have the right to do it, and of cause they do not. Sometimes they believe they have rights even when the law states they do not. This is what belittles what rights we do have.

Of cause, enforcing those rights is also a pain. Often people ignore a real right for their imaginary one. This causes arguments. These can be sorted through arbitration by a neutral party, or referred to court for arbitration by an appointed judge. This is considered a civil matter rather than a criminal one, and often results in fines, behavior orders and the odd slapped wrist. Rarely does it cause the guilty party to change their mind as to what their 'rights' are, however.

0
0

Re: Human rights act

"For example, one could say that a disabled person has the _right_ to ease of access to a public building."

I believe it is more that public buildings have a duty to provide access to disabled people as a right of access would imply the building could never be closed.

It's also more in keeping with the JFK quote, too :p

0
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

"If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

We are and we can. But when we decide to make a treaty like this one with another nation, however foolish that decision may be we must abide by it. Thankfully there exist checks and balances to ensure we can't be sold completely down the river by those decisions.

1
0
WTF?

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

"Thankfully there exist checks and balances to ensure we can't be sold completely down the river by those decisions"

Kind of. But I think Theresa May completely dodged the main issue here. Rather than making serious decisions about whether a crime committed on the internet occurs from the client side or the end point, helping to set precedent and clear things up, it feels like they have just kind of looked for a loophole and said "phew, problem solved"

I think Gary McKinnon Should not be extradited. Not because he has aspergers, but because saying essentially that the crime was committed in america, as opposed to the UK, is a very dangerous precedent to set. They seem to have implicitly said that this is the case, but that because he was a suicide risk he shouldn't be sent over.

5
0

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

She did also set out a plan to introduce a 'forum bar' (I think thats the term). Where a judge in an extradition trial will be able to decide that it would be better to prosecute here, and so that the extradition is denied on those grounds. This isn't currently the case. The implication being that this would've applied in the McKinnon case.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

"Rather than making serious decisions about whether a crime committed on the internet occurs from the client side or the end point, helping to set precedent and clear things up, it feels like they have just kind of looked for a loophole and said "phew, problem solved""

So does this mean that Britons can watch "extreme" porn, conditional on it being *hosted* outside the UK?

2
0

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

"So does this mean that Britons can watch "extreme" porn, conditional on it being *hosted* outside the UK?"

More of this, (not the extreme porn, that would be weird) but it's a valid point.

If i decide i would quite like to ruin some infrastructure via, i don't know, some kind of (not state sponsored) virus and inflicted it on a country we have reasonable ties too if i am then caught in this country, am i prosecutable? Given the crime is, clearly, committed in their territory and not ours surely they have to demand my extradition? No? It all seems to open up a bit of a grey area as to where you are committing a crime.

Also in McK's case the whole thing was farce, branded a terrorist in America no doubt and making their country look that pathetic I’m sure you'd find a nice unbiased jury, right?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

Ignoring the fact that the treaty is very one sided..

1
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: "If only we were a sovereign nation capable of making our own decisions...."

"saying essentially that the crime was committed in america, as opposed to the UK, is a very dangerous precedent to set"

It is complicated indeed. How would you like to deal with Iranians fucking around in The Bank of England. Take the case before an Iranian court (to day), perhaps.

As far as Gary is concerned I am very pleased. Years ago I suggested he was given a UFO t-shirt and let go for the help he gave NASA and the Pentagon to improve their lousy security. He did "no evil" so to say, after all.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

Didn't one of the US bigwigs yesterday call the decision "laughable"?

Makes a change for us to get one in the eye of the US and our lovely "special relationaship" and their ever so wonderful foreign policy that seems to boil down to the fact that any country outside the US is basically America's bitch!

13
1

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

That would be one David Rivkin (I believe the same lawyer who tried to put an end to the so-called ObamaCare, also the guy who wants terror suspects tried in Military courts from what I can make out), who also said

Under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with impunity and get away with it

Think he's probably missed the bit where she decided that he was at high risk of suicide. We recently extradited someone with Aspergers, but wasn't considered at high risk of suicide, so I suspect he's probably focusing on the wrong section of the decision.

Based on a quick google, I'd say he's one of those who probably considers himself a 'true patriot' without ever considering whether or not he may actually be wrong in any given instance.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

"any country outside the US is basically America's bitch!"

There are countries inside the US? :-)

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Then let them be unhappy

While I accept the principle of the law (i.e. the crime was felt in America, giving them certain rights), I do feel the British and US justice systems are fundamentally incompatible. In the UK, justice is based around rehabilitation while the US is more focused on revenge, hence the potential for a 60 (did I read that correctly???) year term on what may be a trumped up charge. I understand the only damage done was considerable effort looking for damage, securing the network and a few bruised egos.

Now, if the US asks to prosecute to man in the UK (I think they probably should), I wouldn't have an iota of a problem with that.

2
0
Facepalm

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

> There are countries inside the US?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

2
0
Silver badge

There are countries inside the US?

50 at the last count. Four are Commonwealths; Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the rest are states.

0
1
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

[i]Think he's probably missed the bit where she decided that he was at high risk of suicide. [/i]

On this basis, none of the 911 hijackers would be sent to the US... or certainly not by plane

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

"There are countries inside the US?"

Puerto Rico, Guam, The Marianas...

And Texas would probably argue their case, too.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

No, just extensions.....state 51, 52, 53, 54 etc

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

seems to me there are whole planets inside the US, and you can see Russia from some of em

0
0
Unhappy

A 'true patriot'?

You're right, Ben. David sounds like one of those guys who is very, very good at ignoring facts that do not fit his preconceived ideas. I exchanged a few tweets with him yesterday, pointing out that it is a human right not to be raped in a US prison (as was likely to happen to McKinnon). Not a peep back.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. " AC @11:58

Yes, they're called Indian reservations. I would compare them to Lesotho/South Africa, but without internationally recognized borders.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Is it only me........

.... who wonders whether Theresa May was going to extradite him, but someone hacked into her speech?

1
0

Re: Is it only me........

Yup.

2
0

Timing

Seems like this was waiting until after the guy with the hook had been successfully got rid of.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Timing

Goddam! I've just posted exactly the same comment as you, before I read yours! I feel cheeky now for posting it as a 'reply' above, since you wrote yours first! I owe you some up-votes...

0
0

Re: Timing

Great minds and all that. Even got my title too.

0
0

"The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

I'm fairly certain that this decision was made in close consultation with the US. It was an ongoing pain in the ass for everyone.

0
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: "The Americans are NOT happy about it. "

So what dwarf are they then?

3
0
Silver badge

Asperger's Syndrome

> Ahsan had the same diagnosis as McKinnon – Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's is not binary "sick or well", like all forms of autism it has a range of severity. I know three people who have it in varying degrees, one of whom requires some help in certain social, situations. I can think of at least two other friends who show some of the signs but I'm not medically qualified to say if they are sufferers, if so it is very mild. You certainly can't take a diagnosis of "(s)he has Asperger's" and use it to make a simple yes/no decision on whether they are fit to face a trial.

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.