Wikileaks Files: U.S. Rejected Britain’s Extradition Offer Regarding McKinnon

December 1, 2010

The extradition offer of former Prime Minister of Britain, Gordon Brown, was detailed in one of the recent Wikileaks U.S. diplomatic cables.

Gary McKinnon faces extradition to the U.S. for computer hacking in 2001 and 2002.

A High Court decision on whether McKinnon’s extradition could go ahead was adjourned in May and ministers have announced a review of existing rules.

Brown made his unsuccessful direct intervention in August 2009, according to a secret cable from the U.S. ambassador in the U.K., Louis Susman, to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Brown proposed the offer that in exchange for McKinnon pleading guilty and making a statement of contrition, he would serve any sentence of incarceration in the U.K. The public, and U.K. officials, have been deeply concerned with McKinnon’s medical condition and fear he would commit suicide or suffer injury if left to the U.S. prison system.

McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, faces up to 60 years in jail if he is convicted in the U.S.

Critics of the treaty, agreed between Washington and London in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, say it is easier to extradite people from the U.K. than the U.S.

The question being reviewed is whether the 2003 extradition treaty is unbalanced and what discretion the British home secretary should have to intervene in individual cases.

McKinnon is accused of hacking into U.S. military computer systems in 2001 and 2002, altering and deleting files in the process. He does not deny hacking into systems but insists he was seeking evidence of UFOs.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Yemen Government Will Not Comply with U.S. Extradition Requests

September 30, 2010

The United States has carried out airstrikes in Yemen, Yemen’s foreign minister told a pan-Arab newspaper in an interview published Thursday, marking that government’s first official confirmation of a U.S. military role in its fight against terrorism.

Al-Qirbi further said that Yemen would not extradite U.S.-born radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to the United States if he were captured. Although the U.S. has requested extradition, Yemen’s constitution forbids extradition of Yemeni citizens to another country.

However, al-Awlaki is being pursued by Yemen authorities in their efforts against al-Quida, and is one of the individuals they have targeted for capture.

Last week, Yemen’s deputy prime minister for defense and security, Rashad al-Alimi, claimed that the United States and Britain had provided aid to Yemen, but asserted there was no U.S. military presence in Yemen.

The U.S. Defense Department has not confirmed the strikes.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Bout Appeals to Russian Leaders for Help

September 24, 2010

Viktor Bout, coined the “Merchant of Death” by the media, has appealed to Russian leaders to prevent his extradition from Thailand to the United States.

On Thursday, Bout’s mother read out his letter to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Moscow.

Bout swears that his business was absolutely legal and solicits help in promoting his return to Russia.

In a separate address to President Medvedev, Bout’s wife, Alla Bout, also appealed to Russian officials. Undoubtedly, she is worried about the life sentence Bout is facing if convicted in the U.S.

Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 at the request of the United States. U.S. officials blame Bout for allegedly collaborating with Colombia’s FARC rebels. Bout’s extradition to the United States was ordered by the Thai appeals court on August 20 in what the Russian Foreign Ministry said was a politically motivated move initiated by Washington. On February 17, the United States brought new charges against Bout, accusing him of ostensibly violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The charges were passed over to the Thai criminal court two hours before the appeals court reached its verdict on the 2008 accusations. In accordance with Thai law, Bout cannot be extradited to the United States until the second charges are brought to court.

Bout will most likely use this time to appeal to Russian officials and the media for help in the proceedings. The tensions between Russia and the U.S. over this matter will most likely increase if Russian officials take action against the U.S. government. Thailand, unfortunately, is in the awkward position of balancing the political powers of these two countries when it eventually has to make a decision on whether to extradite Bout to the U.S.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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