Clegg on McKinnon: “A day for celebrating”

Nick Clegg has just emailed Liberal Democrat members about today’s announcement that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US:

In opposition, we were unequivocal: Gary McKinnon should not be extradited. I said at the time that he was too vulnerable to be uprooted from his friends and family and sent across the Atlantic, and if there was a case to answer it should be here in the UK.

So today I am absolutely delighted by the Home Secretary’s decision to withdraw his extradition order.

I want to congratulate Gary and his mother Janis on their deserved victory. They have campaigned tirelessly and I pay tribute to their strength and determination.

But there was another significant moment as well: the Coalition Government has announced that we will seek to amend the US-UK extradition process to make it fairer in future.

We’re adding a so-called “forum bar” which will mean that British courts can decide to block a request for extradition if it is in the interests of justice to try the case here. This will increase the overall transparency of our extradition arrangements and will better balance the safeguards for defendants.

We will let you know more detail in due course on this announcement because today is about Gary. Today is a day for celebrating.

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  • David Allen Green (also a party member) puts my concerns about this case fairly well

  • >But there was another significant moment as well: the Coalition Government has announced that we will seek to amend the US-UK extradition process to make it fairer in future.

    About time. Hurray!

    BBC website is quoting Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty: “It is a great day for compassion and common sense.”
    And Labour former home secretary Alan Johnson, who “claimed Mrs May had made a decision which was “in her own party’s best interests but it’s not in the best interests of this country”. ”

    New New Labour still as authoritarian as ever, it would seem.

  • Geoff Crocker 17th Oct '12 - 1:50am

    Lib Dem policy should be to oppose all extraditions to the US and any other country which practices the death penalty.This is regardless of whether the specific crime alleged itself potentially carries the death penalty, but as a strong objection to a system of ‘justice’ which does. The US cannot go round lecturing the rest of the world on human rights when it continues to execute its own citizens.

  • I hope this will mean Richard O’Dwyer won’t be extradited now.

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