FW: FYI – RENSE.COM: House of Lords agrees to hear Gary McKinnon’s

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2007-08-31 13:57:15

  RENSE.COM: House of Lords agrees to hear Gary McKinnon’s appeal on one point of law Gary McKinnon in Trafalgar Square – (Note Canadian Flag) Special Program on Gary McKinnon: Jeff Rense & Alfred Webre Sept 4, 2007, www.rense.com
8-9 PM PDT
The Gary McKinnon Case: Update – Appeal to the House of Lords
freegary.org.uk/ House of Lords agrees to hear Gary McKinnon’s appeal on one point of law               John Leyden reports in The Register: McKinnon earns Lords appealPentagon hacker in legal victoryBy John Leyden Published Tuesday 31st July 2007 10:30 GMT Gary McKinnon, the British hacker facing extradition over allegations he broke into US Military and NASA sites, has earned the right to take his case to the House of Lords. The law Lords agreed to hear arguments that US authorities acted in an “oppressive” and “arbitrary” manner during plea bargaining negotiations, for example by allegedly threatening McKinnon over the loss of rights to serve part of his sentence in the UK unless he submitted to voluntary extradition. The House of Lords was not bound to consider McKinnon’s final appeal – for example it declined to hear the appeal of the NatWest Three bankers, so the Lords’ decision is a significant fillip for McKinnon and his legal team. Gary’s lawyers were allowed to petition the House of Lords (not all the hundreds of Peers of the Realm who sit in the upper legislative chamber of Parliament, but the half a dozen or so Law Lords, the most senior Judges in the United Kingdom) on two points of law. The legal Question which appears to have been rejected, is the same point which Babar Ahmad’s legal team were trying to make about the dubious unsigned Diplomatic Notes issued by the US Embassy, promising a Federal civilian trial, rather than a Military Tribunal, even though it is plain that only the US President can make such a decision, and he can change his mind at any time, regardless of what the US State Department promises. “Gary McKinnon is delighted to learn of this important development,” his barrister, Ben Cooper of Charter chambers, told The Guardian. McKinnon is fighting against extradition to the US on hacking offences after losing an appeal in April. Only the Law Lords now stand between the Scot and a US trial for allegedly breaking into and damaging 97 US government computers between 2001 and 2002 and causing an estimated $700,000 worth of damage, in what US authorities have described as the “biggest military” computer hack ever. The former sys admin, who lives in London, admits he infiltrated computer systems without permission but disputes the seriousness US authorities attach to his attacks. The 41-year-old has said he gained access to military networks – using a Perl script to search for default passwords – but describes himself as a bumbling amateur motivated by curiosity about evidence of UFOs rather than a cyberterrorist. McKinnon and his team have consistently argued that he ought to be tried in the UK. No date has been set for the House of Lords hearing. In the meantime, McKinnon remains on bail. Project Camelot interviews Gary McKinnon (VIDEO) tinyurl.com/2p5f5q EARLIER PRESS RELEASE Press Release from Gary McKinnon’s legal team – appeal to the House of Lords Here is the text of the Press Release form Gary’s lawyers, (Kaim Todner solicitors) following his lost Appeal to the High Court today. It gives some idea of the grounds on which his appeal to the House of Lords will be made. Remember that the House of Lords does not automatically have to decide to hear such an appeal – they refused to do so in the case of the NatWest 3 bankers, David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew but have done so in the case of Ian Norris, the retired chairman of Morgan Crucible.     McKinnon v USA and Secretary of State for Home Dpt.     Press release     Gary McKinnon will apply for leave to appeal to the House of Lords within 14 days.     The High Court has expressed its disapproval of the deliberately coercive plea bargaining tactics deployed by the US in the strongest possible terms.     See paragraph 54 of the judgement of the High Court:    “We make no secret of the fact that we view with a degree of distaste the way in which the American authorities are alleged to have approached the plea bargain negotiations. Viewed from the perspective of an English court the notion that a prosecutor may seek to induce a plea of guilty on the basis that substantial benefits will be withdrawn if one is not forthcoming is anathema. We refer on particular to the providing and withdrawal of support towards repatriation. ” [Paragraph 54 of the judgement]     We regret that the Court has not expressed its clear disapproval of the US Government’s arbitrary interference with due process by halting Gary McKinnon’s extradition as an abuse of the process of the English courts.     In order to coerce his voluntary surrender, Mr McKinnon was subjected to threats by the US authorities during the course of plea bargain negotiations. The US sought to coerce the appellant into consenting to his extradition without a formal request being made to the UK authorities and thereafter pleading guilty in the US. The threats made included relaying to Mr McKinnon that New Jersey prosecutors expressed the intention to see Mr McKinnon “fry”. the evidence of Mr Dratel is that this is a reference to capital punishment by th electric chair. This was a chilling and intimidating threat. Further the US threatened that Mr McKinnon would receive a significantly and disproportionately longer sentence if he refused to cooperate with the deal being tabled. Furthermore, it was made clear that the appellant would be forced to serve the entirety of that sentence in the US, with no prospect of repatriation. The Us authorities stated that the appellant’s refusal to cooperate would result in his repatriation to the UK being blocked.     In the course of these discussions the US made it clear that it would be looking for an extremely lengthy sentence and that it would not allow Mr McKinnon to be tried in England because the English courts’ sentencing powers was not of sufficient severity. It is submitted that this does not constitute a valid reason for extraditing a British citizen from his homeland where he has never visited the US and the conduct alleged took place in the UK. It is submitted that a desire to make an example out of the appellant by ensuring that he receives a much longer sentence than his own courts would consider to be adequate punishment constitutes an improper and vexatious motive for making an extradition request.     Mr McKinnon complains that the conduct of the US , the threats it made to the the appellant and its motive for requesting his extradition was each oppressive and abusive, engaging the appellant’s article 594) right. further, the appellant submits that the bid by the US to ensure that their tactical deployment of coercive plea bargaining in this case would remain a secret from the court itself demonstrates that such an extra-judicial process should have no part to play in the legal process. There is express statutory provision fora defendant to consent to extradition if he chooses to do so. No one should be punished for exercising his statutory right to contest extradition. in USA v Cobb         “52.   By placing undue pressure on Canadian citizens to forego due legal process in Canada, the foreign State has disentitled itself from pursuing its recourse before the courts and attempting to show why extradition should legally proceed….         53.   [The judge] was also correct in concluding as he did that this was one of the clearest cases where to proceed further with the extradition hearing would violate “those fundamental principles of justice which underlie the community’s sense of fair play and decency” (Keyowski, supra, at pp.658 59)…”     It is submitted that the US placed undue pressure on Mr McKinnon and made clear its intent to punish him for failing to succumb to that pressure. It is admitted that the conduct of the US in this case can be properly characterised as oppressive and vexatious such that the House of Lords should allow Mr McKinnon’s appeal.     Furthermore the appellant contends that the US threat to impose an extremely lengthy sentence as punishment for not cooperating with an inherently coercive plea bargain amounts to a flagrant denial of justice such that his article 6 fair trial rights would be violated and that the severity of the consequences in terms of sentence reach the high standard imposed in Soering v. U.K. [1989] 11 EHRR 439. It should be noted that these threats were relayed and terms of the “bargain” were offered by Ed Gibson, the assistant legal attaché of the US Embassy in London Special Agent Ed Gibson has since retired from the FBI and is now the “chief security adviser for Microsoft Ltd” in the United Kingdom.     and therefore the threats derived from the Requesting State itself as well as the prosecution lawyers. The prosecution plays an enhanced role in the US sentencing process by recommending the length of sentence to the court. The role and influence of the prosecution is therefore of great significance in respect of the sentence ultimately passed.     The threat to refuse the the appellant repatriation clearly engages article 8 ECHR. Article 8 cannot be lawfully interfered with in an arbitrary and punitive fashion as promised by the US. Mr McKinnon has a right under the Convention of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons not to have his eligibility for repatriation determined unfairly or arbitrarily. He has a right to have his application considered fairly. The US has made plain its intention to prevent his repatriation on arbitrary grounds, namely to punish him for exercising his statutory rights to contest extradition. This constitutes an invalid and improper reason for preventing a fair determination of the merits of his application and would therefore violate article 8.     The US originally attempted to coerce Mr McKinnon into pleading Guilty by offering him 6 months (12 months at worst) in a US prison and the remainder of a short sentence would be served in the UK, mostly on parole. The US now intends to prosecute Mr McKinnon as a cyber-terrorist, which could lead to him spending the rest of his life in prison in the US with repatriation to serve his sentence in his home country denied as punishment for contesting his extradition.     Mr McKinnon will now be punished for exercising his statutory rights to contest extradition under the Extradition Act. His punishment could not be more severe. It amounts to a life sentence in a foreign country. Original Article: p10.hostingprod.com/… URL of this Article: exopolitics.blogs.co… _________________________________Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEdICIS-Institute for Cooperation in Space3339 West 41 AvenueVancouver, B.C. V6N3E5 CANADATEL: 604-733-8134 FAX: 604-733-8135Email: alw@peaceinspace.com…: www.peaceinspace.com…: www.peaceinspace.org… FREE ZONE: peaceinspace.blogs.c… War Crimes Tribunal: peaceinspace.blogs.c…

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