Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:56 UK

Review 'brutal' extradition law

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon claims he was looking for information on UFOs

London Mayor Boris Johnson has called on the Peers to rid the current Extradition Act of "serious flaws" to allow cases to be prosecuted in the UK.

Mr Johnson, who has backed hacker Gary McKinnon's appeal against extradition to the US, called the law "brutal".

The Policing and Crime Bill will be debated by the Lords who will consider if extradition could be refused if the accused could be prosecuted in the UK.

The mayor urged the Peers to "use this opportunity to change this cruel law".

'Blunt and brutal'

Mr Johnson said: "It is scandalous that under the current laws the UK has so little influence over extradition.

"There are a number of serious flaws in the Extradition Act in its current form.

"As we have seen with the case of Gary McKinnon it can be a blunt and brutal law.

"I urge the Peers to take the well-being of the people of this country seriously and use this opportunity to change this cruel law."

The amendment will be debated by the Peers, after the bill went through the Commons in May.

If the Peers pass the bill, making it a law, it would mean that a judge can decide whether a defendant could be tried in the UK instead of being extradited, even if only a part of the alleged offence was committed in Britain.

Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon, 42, who has Asperger's syndrome, has admitted hacking into secret military and Nasa computers has been fighting against his extradition to the US.

Mr McKinnon said he was looking for information on UFOs but the US government insists he committed a malicious crime.

Print Sponsor


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific