Hi Shiny People, here's great news and the final victory for "The Wanton Child" :
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not face criminal charges in the UK, the country’s top prosecutor has said, two months after his extradition to America was blocked.
Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, concluded it was not practical to make the 46-year-old stand trial here for what are alleged crimes against America.
The decision effectively ends a 10-year legal battle by Mr McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and depression.
His family is now going to lobby US President Barack Obama to issue a full pardon to end once and for all the risk of extradition.
Mr McKinnon is accused of hacking in to 97 US Government computers in what he claims was a hunt for evidence of UFOs.
The American authorities first demanded his extradition in 2002 but in October this year Theresa May, the Home Secretary, rejected the request because of the risk he may kill himself if removed.
Following that decision Mr Starmer was asked to examine whether there were grounds for Mr McKinnon to face the charges in the UK courts.
But he has concluded that the US was the only appropriate place to hold a trial and recommended no new criminal investigation should be launched.
The decision was taken after US prosecutors turned down an offer to transfer all the witnesses and evidence in the case to the UK.
It is understood the American authorities were concerned over disclosure procedures in this country and that transferring everything to the UK was not in the interests of justice.
Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, north London, would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted in the US.
Both Prime Minister David Cameron, who held talks on the case with Mr Obama, and his deputy, Nick Clegg, had condemned plans to send him to the US.
However, the decision not to extradite "disappointed" the US authorities.
In a statement today, Mr Starmer said nothing had changed from 2002 when it was decided the only appropriate place for a trial was the US.
That decision was reinforced in a challenge at the High Court in 2009.
Mr Starmer said: “None of the reasons for the original decision in 2002 that the appropriate place for Mr McKinnon to be tried was the United States have altered.
"So far as the evidence is concerned, the position in 2012 is the same as it was in 2002.
"Most of the witnesses are in the US, as is nearly all the physical evidence and the bulk of the unused material, some of which is sensitive.”
He said the CPS met with US Justice officials last month to examine transferring the case here.
"The potential difficulties in bringing a case in England and Wales now should not be underestimated, not least the passage of time, the logistics of transferring sensitive evidence prepared for a court in the US to London for trial, the participation of US government witnesses in the trial and the need fully to comply with the duties of disclosure imposed on the CPS,” he said.
“The prospects of a conviction against Mr McKinnon which reflects the full extent of his alleged criminality are not high.”
He said the US had been willing to co-operate but added: “However, they do not consider that making all the US witnesses available for trial in London and transferring all of the US material to this jurisdiction would be in the interests of justice given our representations and the reasons for the decision that the US was the appropriate forum."
Mr McKinnon's lawyer Karen Todner said: "I have mixed feelings about this – I am pleased he is not going to be prosecuted because I wouldn't want to think he would ever spend any time in prison given his mental situation.
"But I am disappointed because the extradition warrant is still outstanding because he can't travel anywhere outside of the UK and will have this hanging over him until it's resolved.
"We have discussed approaching President Obama and asking for a pardon."
Mr McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, said: "I feel fantastic, it's just wonderful. The next thing I would like to get, impossible though it seems, would be a pardon from President Obama.
"I think it's possible because I think Obama seems like a good person and so does his wife."
From Pranaworld with Love :)