Results tagged “Barack Obama”


Back in July 2010 we reported PM David Cameron raises the Gary McKinnon extradition case with President Barack Obama

Today the BBC reports:

Cameron wants review of UK-US extradition rules

14 March 2012 Last updated at 17:44

David Cameron has said he wants to review how extradition arrangements are working between the UK and US in the light of recent controversial cases.

The prime minister raised the subject during talks with US President Barack Obama at the White House.

[...]

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron had raised the issue about how extradition rules are operating in practice during two hours of talks at the White House on Wednesday. The prime minister is in the middle on a three-day official visit to the United States.

[...]

2003 treaty

Concerns have been raised about the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty following controversial cases involving British citizens such as Christopher Tappin and Gary McKinnon.

Concerns have been raised about the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty following controversial cases involving British citizens such as Christopher Tappin and Gary McKinnon.

[...]

Mr Tappin, a retired businessman, was extradited to the US last month for allegedly selling batteries for Iranian missiles, charges he denies.

He says he has been treated unfairly by the UK justice system and his human rights have been breached - although the extradition request was authorised by the home secretary and later approved by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Mr McKinnon faces extradition to the US on charges of hacking into US military computer systems and endangering national security.

No !!

You would have thought that after 10 years of interviews and reporting by the BBC, they would get important details like this correct by now.

There are no allegations whatsoever against Gary McKinnon about "endangering national security"

He is not charged with any espionage or terrorism offences.

The US prosecuters e.g. Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, were at pains to point this out back in 2002, to reassure the public that Gary was working alone, with no foreign intelliegence agency or terrorist or organised crime connections whatsoever and that national security had not been compromised.

He admits hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

His family have fought a long campaign against his extradition, saying Mr McKinnon - who suffers from Asperger's syndrome - is highly vulnerable and sending him for trial in the US could seriously damage his health.

[...]

So what have Cameron and Obama actually done about the notorious US / UK Extradition arrangements over the last 20 months ?

Nothing tangible at all - the Guantanamo Bay concentation camp is stilloperating and the Extradition Act 2003 is still in force.

The Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition Government have not even bothered to Commence the slightly amended Extradition Act 2003 section 19B Forum for Category 1 territories and the identically worded Extradition Act 2003 section 83A Forum for Category 2 territories (including the USA).

which they managed to get from the grudging Labour control freaks in the previous government, which would allow a UK Judge the leeway to give proper conderation of "legal forum":

83A Forum

(1)A person's extradition to a category 2 territory ("the requesting territory") is barred by reason of forum if (and only if) it appears that--

(a)a significant part of the conduct alleged to constitute the extradition offence is conduct in the United Kingdom, and

(b)in view of that and all the other circumstances, it would not be in the interests of justice for the person to be tried for the offence in the requesting territory.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the judge must take into account whether the relevant prosecution authorities in the United Kingdom have decided not to take proceedings against the person in respect of the conduct in question.

(3)This section does not apply if the person is alleged to be unlawfully at large after conviction of the extradition offence

This perfectly sensible amendment to the original Act, was made via the Police and Justice Act 2006 Schedule 13 paragraph 5 (2), has deliberatley still not yet been brought into force by either the previous Labour or the current Coalition governments, even after over 5 years laying dormant on the Statute Book.

The Daily Mail reports:

No mercy for Gary McKinnon: As Obama prepares for UK visit, his law chief insists U.S. will not bend on extradition

By James Slack

Last updated at 10:00 PM on 12th May 2011


President Obama's top law officer last night dealt a bitter blow to computer hacker Gary McKinnon by insisting that he must face trial in a U.S. court.

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, vowed to 'take all of the necessary steps' to have Gary - who suffers from Asperger's syndrome - extradited and 'held accountable for the crimes that he committed'.

Gary, 45, and his thousands of supporters had been hoping for a breakthrough in his case when Mr Obama visits the UK later this month.

His mother Janis Sharp had written an open letter to the President pleading with him to end ten years of torment.

However, it appears the U.S. has made its decision before Mr Obama even sets foot on British soil.

[...]

There does not seem to be any practical difference between the attitude of the bureaucrats and politicians under President Barack Obama or under his predecessor George Bush, regarding their controversial attempt to extradite Gary McKinnon to the USA, rather than have him tried in the UK.

Presumably President Obama will be kept out of sight and out of earshot of any protestors, exactly as President Bush was, when he visited London.


The Guardian reports:

Gary McKinnon campaigners praise PM for raising hacker's case with Obama

Cameron says he hopes 'a way through' can be found over fate of McKinnon, who faces extradition to US

* Jo Adetunji
* The Guardian, Wednesday 21 July 2010

Prime minister David Cameron said last night he hoped "a way through" could be found over the fate of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, but remained diplomatic as he spoke of his discussion of the case with the US president.

The prime minister said he had talked with Barack Obama about the case of McKinnon, 43, who is accused of hacking into US government computer systems for which he faces extradition and up to 60 years in jail. Cameron said McKinnon was accused of a "very important and significant crime" but hoped that "a way through" could be found.

Cameron and Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, have publicly criticised plans to extradite McKinnon. Last year Cameron said that there was "a clear argument to be made that he should answer [any questions] in a British court".

But Cameron took a more diplomatic tack last night. Speaking at a joint press conference with Obama, he said: "Clearly there is a discussion going on between the British and the Americans about this, but I don't want to prejudice those discussions. We completely understand that Gary McKinnon stands accused of a very important and significant crime in terms of hacking into vital databases, and nobody denies that is an important crime that has to be considered. I have had conversations with the US ambassador as well as raising it with the president, and I hope a way through can be found."


[...]


Last year Alan Johnson, the former home secretary and Theresa May's predecessor, ruled that McKinnon could face extradition and trial in the US but his lawyers were granted permission for a judicial review into whether the decision breached human rights.

The case took another turn when May stepped in to adjourn the review days before it was due to start to consider whether McKinnon is fit to stand trial in the US. The home secretary is still considering the issue.

The Telegraph reports:

David Cameron suggests compromise on Gary McKinnon to Barack Obama

David Cameron has suggested to President Barack Obama that Gary McKinnon, the Briton accused of hacking into Pentagon computers, could serve some of his sentence in Britain as part of a compromise deal.

By Robert Winnett and Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 6:55AM BST 21 Jul 2010

[....]

Mr Obama had earlier said he hoped a deal could be reached in the long-running case of Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome.

"Work has been going on to try and see if there isn't some way of dealing with this case where perhaps the sentences given in America that some of the - if there is a prison sentence - is served in a British prison," Mr Cameron told the BBC's Radio 5Live.

However, Mr Obama said he could not interfere directly in the case and warned that the issue must be "resolved in a way that underscores the seriousness of the issue".

Mr Obama said: "One of the traditions we have is that the President doesn't get involved in decisions around prosecutions, extradition matters.

"So what I expect is my team will follow the law, but they will also co-ordinate closely with what we have just stated is an ally that is unparalleled in terms of our co-operative relationship.

"I trust that this will get resolved in a way that underscores the seriousness of the issue, but also underscores the fact that we work together, we can find an appropriate solution." Mr Cameron said he understood that Mr McKinnon was accused of a "very important and significant crime" but said he hoped "a way through" could be found.

Obviously neither the Prime Minister nor the President can be seen to directly intervene in judicial proceedings but this case is definitely a political one.

Here is a chance for the Obama administration to make amends for some of their recent anti-British political rhetoric following the BP oil pollution affair, by dropping the extradition demand they inherited from the Bush administration, in favour of an "appropriate solution" under the British system of justice.

Barack Obama has won the US Presidential Election, but will not actually become President just yet.

The period between now and the Inauguration Ceremony on the 20th January 2009, in 74 days time, is the Transition period.

Obama's heavy use of the internet, for both fund raising and to communicate with his supporters, has now produced a website called

Change.gov - Office of the President -Elect

This sets out some of the Election Promises, and solicits feedback from the public, both in the USA, and abroad, to help the Transition Team, get their priorities right.

The Election Promises on Homeland Security, especially on Information Systems Security and on Technology are particularly relevant to Gary McKinnon's case.

The Foreign Policy promises, to restore the international reputation and influence of the United States, including with friends and former allies who have been ridden roughshod over by the previous George Bush administration, whose counterproductive policies over the Guantanamo Bay "enemy combatant" concentration camp, "Extraordinary Rendition" overflights and kidnappings, and one sided Extradition to the USA, have insulted the civil judicial systems of the USA and those of allied countries like the United Kingdom.

The Change.gov website has three web based message feedback forms:

  1. Contact the Transition

  2. An American Moment: Your Vision

    Start right now. Share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country. Where should we start together?

  3. An American Moment: Your Story

    Start right now. Tell us your story in your own words about what this campaign and this election means to you. Share your hopes for an Obama Administration and a government for the people.

Especially if you are you are a USA based supporter of Gary McKinnon, please take the opportunity of using these Change.gov web message forms, to press the US Government in Transition, not to make utter fools of themselves, by pursuing the counterproductive, and potentially damaging (to US interests) extradition case against him.