While governments around the world have been busily condemning the latest round of document releases by Wikileaks, there have been other facets which have escaped the news spotlight thus far. For instance, one of the leaked documents mentions the extradition case of Gary ‘UFO Hacker’ McKinnnon, and makes clear that even the Prime Minister had approached the U.S. about keeping McKinnon in England.
The leaked document dates to October 2009, and is an internal document from the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton – described as a ‘scenesetter’ for her upcoming visit to meet with then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The document mentions that Brown had already approached the Ambassador about the McKinnon case in August, and so was likely to bring it up again during Secretary Clinton’s visit:
— Gary McKinnon Extradition Case –
The PM will likely raise with the Secretary (as he has with the Ambassador) the extradition case of Gary McKinnon. McKinnon is a 43-year old computer hacker with Asperger’s Syndrome who is wanted for prosecution in the U.S.; he is accused of hacking into U.S. government systems in 2001 and 2002. McKinnon has gained enormous popular sympathy in his appeal against extradition; the UK’s final decision is pending. The case has also caused public criticism of the U.S.-UK extradition treaty. In August, PM Brown, in a one-on-one meeting with the Ambassador, proposed a deal: that McKinnon plead guilty, make a statement of contrition, but serve any sentence of incarceration in the UK. Brown cited deep public concern that McKinnon, with his medical condition, would commit suicide or suffer injury in imprisoned in a U.S. facility. The Ambassador has raised this proposal with AG Holder and would be happy to brief the Secretary in more detail.
Interesting to see that the case was discussed at such a high level. Although, given that Gary McKinnon is currently still in the United Kingdom, maybe the Prime Minister of the place might consider that he could just tell the U.S. Ambassador how things are going to play out.
Previously on TDG: