Wednesday, June 22, 2011

'Humans Rights Act' gives foreign killers better protection than Gary McKinnon - 22nd June 2011

Foreign criminals hiding behind the Human Rights Act get better protection than Britons facing extradition, MPs and peers warn today.

They say British citizens such as Asperger's sufferer Gary McKinnon can be bundled on a plane to the U.S. without a 'probable' case being made against them.

In contrast, the devastating report says, overseas killers and other convicts can stay in this country simply by saying they have a 'family life' here.

In a huge boost to the Mail's campaign to tighten extradition laws, the committee demands that suspects should normally be tried in the country where the alleged offence took place.

In the case of Gary, 45, accused of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers from the bedroom of his North London flat, that would be in England.

The most shocking section of the report by the influential cross-party Joint Committee on Human Rights concerns the rights given to people in Britain faced with extradition.

Labour ministers who signed the controversial Extradition Act 2003 with America and a similar agreement with EU neighbours worked on the principle these countries would provide the same legal safeguards which exist in Britain.

As a result, the Human Rights Act was largely set aside and can only be applied to extradition hearings in ‘exceptional cases’, such as a threat to life.

Yet, when it comes to deporting criminals from Britain, the convicts are entitled to the full protection of the Act, including Article 8 and the ‘right to a family life’. Last year, 400 foreign criminals escaped being kicked out using Article 8.

Committee member Tory MP Dominic Raab said: ‘A perverse combination of EU law and the Human Rights Act has left innocent British citizens with less protection than foreign national criminals.’ Read More