Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 17:03 UK

In quotes: Hacker judgement

The failure of computer hacker Gary McKinnon's latest High Court bid against extradition to the US has provoked widespread reaction.

ALAN JOHNSON, HOME SECRETARY

It would be illegal for me to stop the extradition of Gary McKinnon, which the court ruling has made clear.

Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes and the US has a lawful right to seek his extradition, as we do when we wish to prosecute people who break our laws.

My predecessor has already sought and received clear assurances from the US that Mr McKinnon's health and welfare needs would be met, should he be extradited.

DAVID CAMERON, CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER

I am deeply saddened and disappointed with this decision. Gary McKinnon is a vulnerable young man and I see no compassion in sending him thousands of miles away from his home and loved ones to face trial.

If he has questions to answer, there is a clear argument to be made that he should answer them in a British court.

This case raises serious questions about the workings of the Extradition Act, which should be reviewed.

CHRIS HUHNE, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT HOME SECRETARY

Today's judgement is a hammer blow to a vulnerable man and his long-suffering supporters.

The succession of ministers who have let this sorry saga drag on for seven long years should hang their heads in shame.

There is no way the American government would hang one of their citizens out to dry in the same way. The [UK] government must ensure that the US-UK Extradition Treaty is repealed and that its replacement treats US and British citizens equally.

JULIET LYON, PRISON REFORM TRUST

It now falls to our government to show compassion in the case of Gary McKinnon, and to turn its attention to the very many disabled people lost within the justice system.

Those with autism, learning disabilities and mental illness face obstacles to understanding at every turn in police stations and in courts.

If they do end up in prison they are more likely to be bullied by other prisoners, disciplined by staff and excluded from programmes that would help them survive a sentence and prepare for release.

ISABELLA SANKEY, LIBERTY

Today's court decision demonstrates the disgrace that is Britain's extradition arrangements that allow vulnerable people to be shipped off around the world when they should be tried here at home.

Our judges' hands have been tied by rotten legislation that should now be overhauled by Parliament without delay.

MARK LEVER, NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY

We are so disappointed for Gary and his family and so angry he is still in this position.

The threat of extradition has been hanging over him for seven long years and sadly the nightmare continues.

The NAS has campaigned hard for his extradition to be reconsidered in the light of his diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.

Sometimes allies can agree to disagree - we can advocate for the best interests of our own citizens against the desires of the other country
Joseph Gutheinz, US lawyer

We will continue to do whatever we can to keep him here in the UK and will support him in his appeal to the Supreme Court.

People with Asperger syndrome are often far more vulnerable than initial appearances would suggest, frequently isolated, often bullied and sadly many experience severe mental health problems if they do not get the right support.

We are extremely disappointed that the High Court has decided to continue with Gary's extradition despite these concerns.

TRUDIE STYLER, CAMPAIGNER AND WIFE OF STING

My heart goes out to Gary, Janis and all those who have fought so hard.

Reason and common sense dictate that Gary's extradition would be abhorrent.

We cannot let this be the end of the road. It is quite clear that Gary is a deeply vulnerable man, ill-equipped to cope with the trauma of extradition.

I am determined to continue to press government to intervene in this blatant travesty of justice.

KEITH VAZ, HOME AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

The failure to overturn the decision to extradite Gary McKinnon to the USA is disappointing.

The extradition arrangements between the USA and the UK are in place to help counter-terrorism and serious crime, and should not be used against vulnerable people like Mr McKinnon.

These extradition arrangements need to be reviewed. The Home Secretary should use his discretion to look again at Mr McKinnon's case and intervene to stop the extradition.

JOSEPH GUTHEINZ, US LAWYER AND EX-NASA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR

In similar cases where Great Britain has tried to extradite an American to Great Britain to stand trial, there is a 20% less chance that that will happen. This is fundamentally unfair.

Gary McKinnon could be tried under British law to stand trial there, it's just that the British courts and the prosecutors... have deemed that not the appropriate response. I would say that's poor thinking on the part of the British government.

Sometimes allies can agree to disagree; sometimes we can advocate for the best interests of our own citizens against the desires of the other country.



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SEE ALSO
Tories challenge extradition law
15 Jul 09 |  UK Politics
Profile: Gary McKinnon
31 Jul 09 |  UK

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