Clegg “powerless” to reverse McKinnon extradition
Self-confessed NASA hacker Gary McKinnon faces a “complex” legal battle against extradition to the US after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said neither he, nor any other politician, had the power to halt proceedings.
Campaigners believe the the 44-year-old Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer will not receive a fair trial in the US after he admitted breaking into computers shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks.
McKinnon claims has was looking for evidence of UFOs and early noises emanating from the new Government suggested it was considering reversing the extradition order, in line with pre-election hubris condemning the proceedings.
What I haven’t got the power to do, neither has the Home Secretary, neither even has the Prime Minister, is to completely reverse and undo certain legal aspects of this
However, Clegg now admits politicians have little power to overturn the initial ruling, even though Home Secretary Theresa May last week sought an adjournment through the High Court.
“What I haven’t got the power to do, neither has the Home Secretary, neither even has the Prime Minister, is to completely reverse and undo certain legal aspects of this,” Clegg said in an interview on BBC Radio 5. “But that, of course, you wouldn’t want politicians to do. It’s legally very complex.”
Clegg’s admission flies in the face of comments he made in the run up to the election and an article he wrote last year for the Daily Mail.
“It’s simply not good enough for Alan Johnson to shrug his shoulders and claim that nothing can be done,” Clegg wrote of the former Home Secretary. “It’s completely within his power to enact amendments from the Police and Justice Act, which would allow Gary McKinnon to be tried over here. Or he could urge the Director of Public Prosecutions to begin proceedings.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office told PC Pro that “the courts not politicians” will decide the case.