House of Lords battle to stop future Gary McKinnons

  • Policing and Crime amendment would allow judges to prevent extradition for crimes committed in the UK
the House of Lords will have the opportunity to prevent situations like
Gary McKinnon’s reoccurring. An amendment to the Policing and Crime
Bill would allow British judges to bar extradition if a significant
part of the crime happened in the UK.
  • The amendment would bring into force provisions that have been on the statute book for over three years.

    introduced in the Police and Justice Bill 2006, the provisions passed
    the House of Lords but were resisted by the Government when the Bill
    returned to the Commons. By introducing a ‘killing clause’ – whereby
    the clauses would only come into force after a resolution by both
    Houses – the Government made it clear that they never intended to
    honour Parliament’s intentions in enacting this law.

    Isabella Sankey, Director of Policy for Liberty, said:

    one should be parcelled off to Europe, the US or anywhere else in the
    world without good reason. If a crime is thought to have been committed
    in the UK then a British court should be allowed to refuse extradition.

    This amendment would go some way to protecting people from
    being hauled off to a foreign land without the bare minimum of British
    justice being seen to be done.”

    Gary McKinnon, who has
    Asperger’s syndrome, has been charged with hacking into the US Pentagon
    and NASA systems between 1999 and 2002, an offence which was committed
    from his computer at home in London. Had the provisions from the Police
    and Justice Act 2006 been in force it is likely that extradition to the
    US would have been refused.

    Liberty argues that where conduct
    constituting a crime occurs in the UK then a British court should be
    allowed to refuse extradition if it is in the interests of justice to
    do so.

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