The senior Tory, Liberal Democrat and Labour figures want a review of the U.S./UK Extradition Act, which was denounced as a whitewash after concluding that the law was not weighted against British citizens, to be thrown into the bin.
The MPs are calling for the introduction of a range of important safeguards, including the so-called forum bar, which means that people are dealt with in the country where the bulk of their crimes are committed.
If this had been in place 45-year-old Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger’s, would have been tried here for hacking into Pentagon computers from his north London home.
Instead he faces being bundled on a plane to the U.S., where experts fear he could take his own life.
Tory MP Dominic Raab, one of the organisers of the motion, said: ‘Parliament must stand up and protect British citizens from arbitrary and abusive fast-track extradition.
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‘It is vital to prevent a repeat of the kind of treatment we’ve seen Gary McKinnon subjected to.’
The motion tabled by the MPs, including ex-Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell and Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs committee, comes as the Government decides how to respond to the review of the 2003 Extradition Act by Sir Scott Baker.
MPs and campaign groups had been united in the view that it was unfair on British citizens.
Motion: Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell (left) and Chairman of the home affairs committee Keith Vaz are part of a group of MPs who want the extradition law to change
The U.S. requires ‘sufficient evidence to establish probable cause’ before agreeing to extradite anyone to the UK, while Britons going in the opposite direction are not afforded the same protection.
But, to widespread astonishment, Sir Scott said the law did not need any reform.
The Mail broke the news that, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Sir Scott had found that the Extradition Act ‘does not operate in an unbalanced manner’.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who called the treaty ‘lopsided’ in opposition, is under particular pressure to hurl the Baker review into the dustbin.
The motion calls on the Government to amend the Extradition Act, as well as the European Arrest Warrant, by implementing the findings of a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights earlier this year. The report found that foreign criminals fighting deportation have greater protection than Britons facing extradition.
The Commons authorities will decide tomorrow whether to allow the motion to be debated. The debate could last a full day. Party managers would be under huge