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Extradition

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Extradition

Last week I was pondering on the outcome of the latest ruling regarding the case of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon.
On the Radio 4 programme Any Questions? the panelists generally thought that  he shouldn't be extradited, particularly as he is reported to have Asperger's Syndrome. I understand that David Cameron also thinks that he should not be sent to the USA.
My initial thought was that this must have been a very clever individual to have the skill and knowledge to do such a thing and that he must have known exactly what he was doing and should be extradited for trial.
Now I am not so sure as the crime was committed on English soil he perhaps ought to be tried in our courts. Either way, he needs to be brought to justice, even though he is reported to have this disability, chiefly because he has the ability to cause a great deal of trouble and may continue to do so if he thinks he can get away with it.
The case reminded of the PN hack a few years ago - we never found out if they were ever brought to justice.
Gary's case will probably rumble on and meanwhile he will be able to carry on his business as usual. We haven't even managed to get rid of the mad mullah or whatever they call him so perhaps there is a lot of hope for him and his mother.
32 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Extradition

My view is that if the US wish to  extradite him, then they should bring a case in the British courts to prove their case first. I think it appalling that a British citizen should be able to be kidnapped by a foreign country.
As has been said - Thatcher stopped her compatriot in war - General Augusto Pinochet from being extradited

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Extradition

What the stupid Americans should have done was invite him over to the US and paid him a huge consultancy fee to help upgrade their IT security systems.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Extradition


Maybe george Galloway defend him, as he defended himself in the US Senate.


I dislike the guy - but I still respect how he dealt with the senate.
VileReynard
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Re: Extradition

Quote from: poppy
My initial thought was that this must have been a very clever individual to have the skill and knowledge to do such a thing and that he must have known exactly what he was doing and should be extradited for trial.
Now I am not so sure as the crime was committed on English soil he perhaps ought to be tried in our courts. Either way, he needs to be brought to justice, even though he is reported to have this disability, chiefly because he has the ability to cause a great deal of trouble and may continue to do so if he thinks he can get away with it.

It's one characteristic of Asperger's syndrome sufferers that they are intensely focussed in certain areas such as Mathematics / Music / Computers etc - they do not give up just because something is difficult.
As it is an autistic spectrum disorder, sufferers find it extremely difficult to form any kind of inter-personal relationships - they tend to refuse any kind of social interaction.
The prospect of jail in a foreign country, especially one with a culture of violence must horrify his friends and family.
Even a short sentence in a British jail would be very difficult.

Community Veteran
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Re: Extradition

The US have stated clearly that if extradited and found guilty his medical condition would be taken care of if sent to prison.  There is also the possibility that if sentenced he could be returned to the UK to a prison here.
VileReynard
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Re: Extradition

I don't think a prison is an appropriate place to put someone like that.
The Americans are renowned for the care of their prisoners e.g. Guantanamo bay... Angry

Community Veteran
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Re: Extradition

Do we know how long he has suffered with AS?  I read a week or so ago that this has been something that has been diagnosed since the extradition request was made. What causes it?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Extradition

Do the USA sign up for the international convention on human rights ?
If not we should cancel our agreement on extradition IMOO
Community Veteran
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Re: Extradition

To the best of my knowledge they do.  Wasn't that why Bush set up special conditions at Guantanamo bay to avoid them?
Community Veteran
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Re: Extradition

I don't think they necessarily have - at least not the recent ones http://www.hrw.org/node/84594
Quote
This document provides an overview of the following treaties and their importance to the United States:
    * Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
    * Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
    * Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance
    * Mine Ban Treaty
    * Convention on Cluster Munitions
    * Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
    * Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture
None of these treaties yet have been ratified, and only two - CEDAW and the CRC-have been signed by the US.  CEDAW was submitted to the Senate for consideration in 1980. Human Rights Watch urges President Barack Obama to sign the remaining treaties, and the US Senate, led by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to ratify each of these important instruments.
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Re: Extradition

Artmo - I am no expert, but with regard to Aspergers Syndrome, it is there from birth and is a form of autism.
There are many degrees of severity and some people might not be diagnosed until later in life, and indeed some never receive a diagnosis.
Sometimes it is discovered when they come into contact with the authorities after some misdemeanour so this could have been the case with Gary McKinnon, although I don't know the full circumstances.
I have only known one person with the condition (he would have been in his 40s at the time) and as far as I know he had not been formally diagnosed with it but to his friends it was plainly obvious that he was afflicted with the disability.
Community Veteran
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Re: Extradition

Thanks Poppy you've answered my question very well. appreciated.
VileReynard
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Re: Extradition

@poppy - I have personal experience of a close family member suffering from AS.
Your description is spot-on - except that sufferers don't tend to form friendships.

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Re: Extradition

No, they don't tend to form friendships in the way that 'normal' people do.
I would imagine that to incarcerate a person who suffers with this disability would be extremely difficult for them to cope with as it would be nigh on impossible to deal with so many people in such close proximity.
Also, it is likely that they would be bullied and taken advantage of unless taken out of the main stream prison system and segregated.