A 42-year-old British man accused of illegally accessing U.S. military intelligence databases, will discover later this week whether he faces extradition to the United States, and the possibility of being tried by military tribunal.
Consequently, the U.S. began extradition proceedings with McKinnon allegedly threatened with the prospect of being designated a terrorist and trial by a military tribunal. In 2006, a British High Court ruling approved extradition prompting an appeal to the House of Lords by McKinnon’ lawyers who argued that coercion into plea-bargaining represented “an unlawful abuse of the court process”.
A self-taught IT expert and UFO enthusiast McKinnon accessed information within Army, Navy, Pentagon and NASA computer systems, but has always insisted that his motives were borne out of curiosity not malevolence: “Now I’m facing 60 years in prison…because they’re scared of what I’ve seen” he stated ”I’m living in a surreal, nutter’s film”.
McKinnon is now awaiting the House of Lord’s decision with the outcome possibly determining whether or not he remains in the UK. A ruling in his (McKinnon’s) favour would force the extradition process back to the “square one” of the Magistrates Court. A ruling against McKinnon would effectively open the way for extradition, although his legal team would almost certainly lodge a fresh appeal with the European Court of Human Rights.
Tim Tonkin, The Cheers News
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