MPs have demanded a common sense approach to overrule US attempts to extradite hacker Gary McKinnon.
In a parliamentary debate concerning extradition practices, Tory MP Dominic Raab calling for changes to the laws in place with America.
McKinnon, who suffers from Aspergers syndrome, is awaiting a decision on his fate by the Home Secretary after allegedly being caught hacking into Pentagon looking for little green men from space. There have been many vociferous calls for a change to rulings which could see McKinnon sentenced to decades in prison across the pond.
“We have legislation in place to inject a dose of common sense and discretion into the McKinnon case and other such cases,” Raab contended. “The government ought to bring that into force as a matter of priority.”
Raab believes that the UK should be allowed to use its own discretion to “decline extradition in cross border cases”, and these should be able to take the wider picture into account rather than just legal wrangling.
He contended that McKinnon is “more misfit than terrorist”, and should therefore “not be equated with some high-level al-Qaeda suspect or gangster”.
Not exactly rocket science here, but Ministers are still debating whether to bow to US demands to send McKinnon over to a life in a US chokey.
The US has discretionary extradition laws in place with other countries, with Brazil, Mexico and Australia named as just a few of those able to make up their own minds.
Despite claims in the recent Baker report that said extradition laws with the US are balanced, it certainly begs the question of why Yankee legal eagles are able to drag British citizens across the Atlantic.
Raab asked why Britain, a stalwart ally as he puts it, should not request “such a modest adjustment” to existing practices.
TechEye contacted the MP for McKinnon’s constituency, David Burrowes, but is yet to receive a response.
Burrowes claimed in parliament that there was a statistical disparity with the number of citizens which had been sent to America, compared to the number which had been extradited to the UK.
The National Autistic Society told TechEye that it backs calls to keep McKinnon in the country and “strongly believes that the extradition proceedings of Gary McKinnon should be stopped and he should be allowed to stand trial in the UK.”