PledgeBank is now closed to new submissions. The site is available as an archive for you to browse, but you can no longer create or sign pledges. Find out more…

United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


You are reporting the following comment to the PledgeBank team:

Reply from the Home Office interspersed with comments from a Free Gary supporter pointing out mistakes and of just how ludicrous sections of the response from the Home Office are.

Below is an example of a reply from the Home Office to a Representation to the Home Secretary on behalf of Gary McKinnon sent in by Mike.

There are a couple of obvious mistakes in this Home Office reply:

Reference: Tnnnnn/n
Dear Mr aaaaa

Thank you for your e-mail of 22/05/06 19:11:24 addressed to the Home Secretary, concerning a request by the USA for the extradition of Gary McKinnon who stands accused of offences connected to computer hacking.

The UK has important international obligations in the area of extradition. It takes those obligations seriously. Where, as here, a request for extradition is made, those obligations become engaged and make it our duty to assist within of course, what the law permits.

As to that, the US request was found to be valid (within the meaning of the 2003 Extradition Act).



"Valid within the meaning of the 2003 Extradition Act" only means that the forms were addressed and filled out correctly, and that the right suspect was identified.

Accordingly on 17 November 2005, the Secretary of State certified it. The effect of certifying an extradition request in this way is to place matters before the courts.
This date when the Home Secretary "certified" the extradition request is obviously incorrect !

Gary first appeared at Bow Street Magistrates' Court on the 10th June 2005

He was first arrested in April 2002 and then released without charge.

As you are probably aware on 10 May the court found that there was a case to answer and that the statutory barriers to surrender did not avail Mr McKinnon. The District Judge therefore sent the case to the Secretary of State for a decision as to surrender. At this point, Mr McKinnon has a statutory opportunity inside six weeks to make representations (albeit on limited grounds) against surrender.
6 weeks from the 10th May is no later than Wednesday 21st June.

You can tell from this turn of phrase that any Representations received after that date are liklely to be ignored by the Home Office.

If the Secretary of State orders surrender, Mr McKinnon will be able to challenge the decision of the District Judge and/or the Secretary of State by appealing to the High Court. In this way, we hope you will at least feel assured that the procedure ensures all relevant matters are not only considered fairly and properly but are susceptible to challenge on appeal.
Most people would consider that "all relevant matters" would actually include some, if not necessarily all, of the prima facie evidence against Gary.

No evidence whatsoever has been heard during the extradition proceedings, only allegations, and vastly inflated and unsubstantiated claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars of alleged "damage".

Nobody expects an extradition hearing to be a full trial, but for there not to have been any sort of sanity check by a Britiish court, and for there to have been no opportunity for Gary's defence lawyers to challenge the evidence, is utterly wrong. This is especially unfair, since that is exactly what has to happen, perfectly reasonably, in a US Court, if the UK Government wants to extradite someone from there.




Both the old and the current legislation permit extradition for conduct committed outside the requesting state, as with the case of Gary McKinnon. This is a vital provision to combat the increasingly global nature of serious crime.


What exactly has the "increasingly global nature of serious crime" got to do with this case ?

The generally accepted definition of a Serious Crime in the United Kingdom is the one which used in, for example the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Section 81 General Interpretation


(b) references to serious crime are references to crime that satisfies the test in subsection (3)(a) or (b).

(3) Those tests are-

(a) that the offence or one of the offences that is or would be constituted by the conduct is an offence for which a person who has attained the age of twenty-one and has no previous convictions could reasonably be expected to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or more;

(b) that the conduct involves the use of violence, results in substantial financial gain or is conduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose.


Apart from Terrorism or Espionage offences, murder. kidnapping. etc. the other "serious crimes", as defined by the priorities of the newly established Serious Organised Crime Agency i.e. firstly Drug trafficing in Class A drugs (cocaine, heroin, MDMA etc), then human trafficing (sex slaves, exploted illegal immigrant workers), and then large scale money laundering. Computer "hacking" offences which are not part of say, a wider blackmail or large scale fraud, are not considered to be a serious crime.

Gary McKinnon is not accused of any of these types of criimes whatsoever.

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 section 1 Unauthorised access to computer material penalty for unauthorised access is currently a maximum of six months in prison,

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 section 3 Unauthorised modification of computer material penalty for is currently a maximum of 5 years in prison,

First time offenders are extremley unlikely to be given the maximum sentence, and so neither of these offences fall under the definition of Serious Crime.

These penalties are in the process of being increased via amendments in the Police and Justice Bill, currently being considered in the House of Lords, bit even if they are passed into law later on this year, these amendments have no relevance to Gary's case, based on alleged crimes back in 2001 / 2002.

The key issue is to ensure that offences are dealt with in the place where they can be most effectively prosecuted. For example, where the main witnesses and the main evidence are in another state, and that state has a justice system comparable to our own in terms of fairness, it is more appropriate for the defendants to face justice there.
Half the important evidence and witnesses are here in the UK, not in th USA e.g. the Internet Service Provider records and witnesses, the computer forensics analysis and witnesses, the UK National High Tech Crime Unit police officiers who interviewed Gary, which identify Gary rather than any number of other people around the world, who happened to also be investigating the US Military's unsecured networks at the same time.

The US prosecutors have to prove that it was Gary McKinnon and nobody else, who also had access to the same systems, at the same time, who committed each of their allegations of "damage".





Any decision on whether to launch a prosecution in this country is for the UK’s independent prosecuting authorities, such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as the Home Office has no prosecutorial role. The published guidance in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is followed when deciding whether to prosecute or continue a prosecution against an individual in the UK.


Who actually believes that the Crown Prosecution Service did not closely consult with, and take advice andd instructions from, the Home Office, on an extradition case involving the US Military and Intelligence Agencies ?

I hope the explanation above helps to make the situation clearer.
Yours sincerely

It will be interesting to see if the Home Office sticks to this boilerplate reply to other Representations on behalf of Gary McKinnon.


Posted by fg on June 9, 2006 08:59 PM | Permalink

TrackBack
TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.spy.org.uk/cgi-bin/mt32/mt-tb...

Comments
Referring to Kevin Mitnick, who is not well known here in the UK, and nobody ranted and raved in support of him in the UK. There people who felt he was being singled and treated harshly.
There are some slight similarities, between the cases in that it neither case is anyone claiming that they are entirely innocent, but rather that the politicaly expedient "let's thrown the book at them" attitude by the the US Authorities, is unfair and injust, and, ultimately of no use whatsoever in deterring anybody else.

The other point of similarity vbetween the cases is the vastly inflated allegations of financial damage or loss, which in Mitnick's case were disproved in court.

However Kevin Mitnick never faced the prospect of being extradited to a foreign country, to be tried in a biased civilian court if lucky, and in a military tribunal if not.

Calling people who stand up for the rule of law, national sovereignty and for natural justice "losers" is an unworthy comment.

Who will come to your support when you face a similar injustice ?




Posted by: fg | June 10, 2006 11:55 AM

I Support Gary and his acts. UFO and Extraterrestrials weren't made to be kept top secret for the government only. We all deserve a chance to uncover the truth!

Posted by: Jose | June 11, 2006 08:35 PM

Have mercy of the curious who care 4-U.

Posted by: paul shishis | June 13, 2006 01:24 AM

I sent an email to the home office regarding this. I have now requested their reply a third time as it is indecipherable rubbish.

i.e.

begin 666 ResponseT24942 6.doc
MT,\1X*&Q&N$`````````````````````/@`#`/[_"0`&```````````````"
M````' ``````````$ ``)@````$```#^____`````!L```!D````________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M____________________________________________________________
M_______________________LI M'A@```X`8FIB:NY&[D8````````````````````````)!!8`)B0``(PL``",
M+ ``'! ````````!``````````````````````````````#__P\`````````

This is the third and last time I'll be asking for a proper reply.

C

Posted by: Calvin | June 14, 2006 11:14 AM

Calvin, I have the same problem. I'm just replying to them now...
*wonders if it's gmail*

Posted by: Dan | June 14, 2006 05:58 PM

They sent it as html this time. PRetty much word for word the same as the reply above.

Posted by: Dan | June 15, 2006 01:09 PM

@ Calvin
the "begin .... end" stuff is just the "normal" way which 8 bit encoded binary attachments are sent through 7 bit text only email systems.

This is usually invisible in most email readers, which just give you an attachment icon to click on, unless a header has been mangled or lost somewhere as seems to happen frequently with the Home Office email system.

If you copy everything from the "begin..." to the "...end" in say Windows WordPad (which copes with larger files than Notepad) and save it as a text file with a .UUE extension, then a utility like WinZip will de-compress it for you back to the original .doc or .pdf document.

Obviously check these with your anti-virus scanner software before opening them.

If you are still having difficulty, then forward the email on to info@freegary.org.uk (if you do not mind us knowing your name and address) and we will try to de-compress it for you.

Posted by: fg | June 15, 2006 01:41 PM

I would appreciate knowing how I can reach Gary McKinnon?
My article was in the recent Nexus Magazine that had Gary mentioned in it.
I interviewed Senator Barry Goldwater the day we launched Neil Armstrong APOLLO 11 to the moon on July 16, 1969.
I was a Space Shuttle ScO at KSC.
Is Gary in jail?
Please respond.
clark0003@gmail.com
title response "McKinnon"
Thank you.

Posted by: Clark C. McClelland, former ScO, STS Fleet | June 16, 2006 01:08 PM

Our government has really let the country down with the 2003 Extradition Act.
Why on earth should civilians of our country be sent to America without a shred of evidence when we cant do the same to US citizens? It is a disgrace! Also, I thought that 'hacking' a computer meant that the system security had to be exploited - Logging on as 'administrator' with a blank password is not hacking. It is logging on. Nothing more and nothing less. If you leave the keys in your car and the doors open, you only have yourself to blame if someone takes it- it is the same in this case. The real criminals are the 'IT' idiots working for US government agencies- imaging 5000 PCs with blank administrator passwords is inexcusable incompetence.

Posted by: Guy Thomas | June 16, 2006 06:02 PM

I have received the same reply from the home office - word for word - and it makes me mad i can tell you. The lazy, unresponsive faceless beaurocrats. Anyway, mustn't rant and rave! I know theres a lot of support for Gary amongst people who make an effort to follow whats going on in the world. I mean especially Tony Blair's extremely disapointing warmongering streak and the subsequent close bond he has had to maintain with the American Republican party. Gary is clearly facing injustice and the preceeding reason seems to be why the government is stonewalling protest with evasive standard issue letters. I also wrote to the CPS to ask why they did not choose to prosecute Gary following his arrest by the British computer crime squad. I asked about the role of the American authorities in making that decision not to prosecute in Britain. The reply went: 'The prosecutor who had contact of the extradition proceedings on behalf of the U.S.A is on annual leave untill 20th June.......Mr. Bland will provide a substantive reply to your queries on return from leave. Yours Sincerely, [signed on behalf of Robert Bland, Senior Specialist Prosecutor, Organised Crime Division]', 50 Ludgate Hill, London EC4 M7EX
So that means even if the reply does contain more than the kind of platitudes from the home office, it will come too late to confront the home secretary with before the deadline for making representations. Hey Ho. Keep fighting.


Posted by: Robin Smith | June 18, 2006 02:26 PM

We have been forwarded another virtually identical reply from the Home Office sent to Matt.

They correct the error in the date of "certification" to 17th November 2004, and have given it a slightly more formal tone in the paragraph mentioning 10th May, but essentially the reply (from the same Civil Servant as above) is the same:

Dear Mr. [name suppressed],
Thank you for your e-mail of 14/06/06 06:00:52 addressed to the Home Secretary, concerning a request by the USA for the extradition of Gary McKinnon who stands accused of offences connected to computer ‘hacking’.

The UK has important international obligations in the area of extradition. It takes those obligations seriously. Where, as here, a request for extradition is made, those obligations become engaged and make it our duty to assist within of course, what the law permits.

The US request for Mr McKinnon was found to be valid (within the meaning of the 2003 Extradition Act). Accordingly on 17 November 2004, the Secretary of State certified it. The effect of certifying an extradition request in this way is to place matters before the courts. On 10 May the court found that there was a case to answer and that the statutory barriers to surrender did not avail Mr McKinnon. The District Judge therefore sent the case to the Secretary of State for a decision as to surrender. At this point, Mr McKinnon has a statutory opportunity up to 21 June to make representations (albeit on limited grounds) against surrender.

If the Secretary of State orders surrender, Mr McKinnon will be able to challenge the decision of the District Judge and/or the Secretary of State by appealing to the High Court. In this way, we hope you will at least feel assured that the procedure ensures all relevant matters are not only considered fairly and properly but are susceptible to challenge on appeal.

Both the old and the current legislation permit extradition for conduct committed outside the requesting state, as with the case of Gary McKinnon. This is a vital provision to combat the increasingly global nature of serious crime.

The key issue is to ensure that offences are dealt with in the place where they can be most effectively prosecuted. For example, where the main witnesses and the main evidence are in another state, and that state has a justice system comparable to our own in terms of fairness, it is more appropriate for the defendants to face justice there.

Any decision on whether to launch a prosecution in this country is for the UK’s independent prosecuting authorities, such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as the Home Office has no prosecutorial role.

I hope the explanation above helps to make the situation clearer.

Yours sincerely

[civil servant's name]

Posted by: fg | June 20, 2006 12:15 PM

We have had another Reply from the the same Civil Servant at the Home Office, forwarded to us, identical to the one above, but for the individual name and address and email time references.

It may appear ro be a bit dishearening just to get a standard boilerplate reply, to personally written emails or letters , but at least there is an Official Correspondence File growing at the Home Office, which cannot claim that they are unaware of the public concerns over this case.

Hopefully the people who have taken the trouble to individually contact the Home Secretary on Gary's behalf will have more effect than simply signing and presenting a single petition.


Posted by: fg | June 20, 2006 02:39 PM

Same response from the home office to me.

Interesting that hacking is in quotes as 'hacking'. Thats because he actually logged on - he never 'hacked' anything. Logging on is not hacking. Also, I suggest that Gary changes his name to "Andy D Ministrator" - that way, his log on will be retrospectively legal. Logging on with your own name and password is not a crime. Sounds crazy? Not as crazy as the fact that the USA can retrospectively enforce new laws after a 'crime' is committed!

Posted by: gthomas | June 20, 2006 10:47 PM


Post a comment
Name:

Email Address:

URL:

Remember personal info?

Comments: (you may use HTML tags for style)
Jay, 14 years ago.

Report abusive, suspicious or wrong comment

Please let us know exactly what is wrong with the comment, and why you think it should be removed.


:



Navigation