There have been many cases of extraditions of UK citizens to the US in recent years. Some of those extradited have only vague allegations levied against them. Others are accused of crimes which may not be crimes as such in the UK. Then there are those who could be tried in the UK, should a trial be necessary. One such man is Gary McKinnon.
46-year-old Mr McKinnon has had the threat of extradition to the US hanging over him for some time. The issue of Gary's extradition to the US has been raised with President Obama on more than one occasion.
Gary suffers from Asperger's syndrome. This is often described as a more debilitating type of Autism. Today UK Home Secretary Theresa May finally proved that she has a heart. Well maybe not. Whether she was pushed or jumped of her own accord is not known but today she finally put a halt to the extradition procedings in the case of Gary.
So what is he accused of and how come May acted in this way?
Gary managed to hack into US military computers at a time when ecurity was such a high profile concern for the US. The reason he did so was in his quest to find information about UFOs. Obviously hacking into such confidential and sensitive systems could be dangerous. Gary however has never denied he did this nor refused to stand trial if necessary in the UK. He maintains however that no harm was intended. He and his feisty mother have been fighting extradition to the US on health grounds.
Gary is a person likely to attempt to commit suicide should he be extradited to another country and held in a US prison. This is what has finally swayed May and she has made her judgement due to health concerns for Mr McKinnon. If tried and convicted in the US Gary could face a 60 year jail term. What!.
Channel 4 reported that Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, said: "This is a great day for rights, freedoms and justice in the United Kingdom. "The home secretary has spared this vulnerable man the cruelty of being sent to the US and accepted Liberty's long-standing argument for change to our rotten extradition laws. "Extradition should prevent fugitives escaping - not allow for Britons like Gary to be parcelled off around the world based on allegations of offences committed here at home. "This campaign, led by Gary's fearless mother, united lawyers, politicians, press and public from across the spectrum in the cause of compassion and common sense."
Yes and that is the point. Retired man Christopher Tappin was packed off to the US when he could have stood trial in the UK. How many more must there be.
Most right minded people in the UK want this lopsided US / UK extradition treaty to be renegotiated or scrapped.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
Please support our ads in order to allow the site to continue to grow.