CAMPAIGNERS trying to prevent the extradition of Scot Gary McKinnon to face computer hacking charges in the US have been told that “it’s over” by US ambassador Louis Susman and that the UK has no choice but to comply with its treaty obligations.
Susman said the US believes that the legal process has been exhausted with Mr McKinnon, a computer analyst who has Asperger’s syndrome.
He said critics who argue that the US has not in the past deported criminals wanted in the UK – including IRA terrorists – are misinformed. “[Since the treaty was signed] every single request the UK has made to America for extradition has been granted,” he said.
Out of 54 requests, 38 have been deported from America. The other requests were withdrawn.
“There’s presently a number of requests from the US to the UK and there are presently 28 that are still pending.
“I think that it is clear that when this new government came in, the Tory government, I think they wisely said because of these complaints they formed probably one of the most elegant blue-ribbon commissions I’ve ever seen, of most respected judges and legal minds to look at the treaty. They have come back and said that the treaty is fair, it is balanced, there is no need for change and that we should move forward.”
On Mr McKinnon he said: “I understand that people have emotional feelings about why a loved one is being extradited. But at the same token we have feelings that somebody took down our whole defence system in a computer hacking incident. That made us very vulnerable. So we are living by the spirit of the law.
“Individual cases will be viewed by this government within the framework of that law and treaty, and there is no need to renegotiate. The Gary MacKinnon case has gone through seven or eight courts and one home secretary and they have all found that it is appropriate that he be extradited. If Gary MacKinnon has health problems we have a pretty good health service in America and he would be well protected.
“I don’t want to go beyond that because we don’t comment on individual cases, but it’s over. The UK has looked at it and they have come back and said it is fair and balanced, and I don’t know how we can go beyond that.”