I have been following the case of Gary McKinnon very closely over the past few years. Gary McKinnon is a Scottish-born man who suffers from a form of autism and for the last eight years has been at the centre of legal battle to prevent his extradition to the US.
The US want to try Gary McKinnon on charges of terrorism which could see him face up to 60 years in prison – a term which would in all likelihood extend beyond Gary’s natural life. Gary has consistently admitted breaking into NASA and US military computers, but has denied that it was for purposes other than to check for US evidence of UFOs – something which Gary McKinnon is convinced the US have.
Over the last eight years Gary’s psychiatric wellbeing has deteriorated and the Home Secretary was asked to step in and prevent the extradition as, according to Gary’s legal team, to allow the extradition to go ahead with Gary’s mental health in its current state would be a breach of his Human Rights.
Earlier in the week, Home Secretary Alan Johnson decided that it would not be a breach of Gary McKinnon’s Human Rights to allow the extradition to go ahead. Gary’s legal team are taking the case for Judicial Review and then will have a final attempt at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
On Alan Johnston’s decision this week, I am convinced that it was a response to Kenny McAskill’s decision to release the only man ever convicted of the Lockerbie bombings. The United States of America were furious over that decision and no matter how much everyone denies it the “special relationship” between the UK and US was no doubt harmed by that decision. Hanging Gary McKinnon out to dry is the UK Government’s way of making reparation to the US over a decision taken by Scotland and taken correctly in accordance with the Laws of Scotland.
Should Gary McKinnon be extradited and face trial I fail to see how he could ever receive a fair trial. Gary’s actions came at a time when the USA was in shock and fear after the attacks on the World Trade Centre in September 2001. Today, the US is still in fear after those attacks and they have always viewed the actions of Gary as being Terrorist in nature. Something I find very hard to believe could actually be true. His current reported mental state would also add further difficulties into providing for a fair trial and finally that the US Justice System is not known for fairness or Justice.
We can only hope that the domestic courts or European Court of Human Rights should it come to that stage see sense and halt this unfair extradition.