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McKinnon To Be Extradited As Tories Lose Commons' Battle

The Conservatives Party’s last attempts to save the self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon from being extradited to the US finally ended up in failure, with the Party’s calls for the Government to revisit McKinnon’s case have been defeated in the House of Commons.

In an opposition day debate, the Conservatives demanded for a review of the hacker’s extradition case, as well as the UK’s lop-sided extradition treaty with the US.

As per the extradition arrangement between the two countries, the US doesn’t need to give any evidence to support an extradition request, while the UK does if it wishes to extradite someone from the US.

In what could be seen as a death nail in McKinnon’s extradition case, the Conservatives Party motion was defeated by 290 votes to 236 votes following a two-hour debate over the issue.

The UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson in no uncertain words made it clear that he could not interfere in the case. Citing the same, he said, “The Home Secretary is legally obliged to order extradition except where there is a possibility that the person could be sentenced to death, where there are inadequate arrangements, or if the person to be extradited has previously been extradited from another country”.

He further dismissed any possibility of reviewing extradition treaty by the existing Government, after the Conservatives motion to achieve this was thrashed out.

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Our Comments

US President Barack Obama will apparently be approached by "peers, MPs and mental health experts" in a last-ditch attempt to convince the US government to give up on extraditing the British computer hacker. If this fails, there will unfortunately be nothing that could be done to save McKinnon from his fate.

Related Links

Conservatives lose Gary McKinnon extradition battle (opens in new tab)

(IT Pro)

McKinnon motion defeated in Commons (opens in new tab)

(PC Pro)

McKinnon closer to extradition as Tories lose Commons vote (opens in new tab)

(ComputerWeekly)

Gary McKinnon case: Trying him in UK is the compelling resolution (opens in new tab)

(Guardian)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.