[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, the High Court in London has recommended that the UK hacker behind unprecedented attacks on US military computer systems in late 2001 and early 2002 be extradited to the US to face criminal charges [US DOJ indictment]. Gary McKinnon [CNET interview; advocacy blog] is allegedly responsible for hacking into computer networks operated by several military branches as well as by the Department of Defense itself. McKinnon's lawyers say that he was motivated by a desire to uncover 'hidden technology' capable of benefiting all of mankind, which he claims is being suppressed by the US military. The final decision on whether he will be deported lies with the British Home Office [official website]. BBC News has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- Italy's parliament has elected Giorgio Napolitano [Wikipedia profile] as the country's new president. A former member of the Italian communist party, Napolitano is a popular member of the new Left Democrats and is scheduled to be sworn in on Monday. His election is the last legal requirement necessary for the creation of a new government by newly-elected Prime Minister Romano Prodi [campaign website in Italian] and represents the end of a tense legal and political struggle [JURIST report] between Prodi and former PM Silvio Berlusconi [official profile] over who would be chosen as Italy's next president. Prodi told reporters that he was expecting the call for a new executive branch to be issued by Napolitano by next Wednesday. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Italy [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.
- Several human rights organizations in Kenya [government website] that together form the Kenya Human Rights Network have issued a public critique of the proposed Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Bill 2006, claiming the bill represents too large an infringement on Kenyan civil rights. Under the new provisions, foreign military forces engaged in anti-terrorism operations would be guaranteed cooperation from Kenyan police and military institutions. The bill also allegedly permits the use of indefinite detention by the executive branch, and the automatic disbanding of political groups on request by the Ministry of Internal Security. The bill is part of an effort by Kenya to reject criticism from the United States that it has 'been lax' in its fight against international terrorism. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.
- Zahira Sheikh, a witness to the notorious arson of Best Bakery [Wikipedia backgrounder] during the 2002 religious riots in the Gujarat region of India, has pleaded not guilty before a local court on charges of perjury. Scheduled to go to trial on Thursday, Zahira is alleged to have changed her testimony concerning her initial eyewitness report to police in exchange for financial compensation. Previously sentenced [JURIST report] by India's Supreme Court [judicial website], Zahira won the right to a retrial on the perjury charges. Calcutta's Telegraph has local coverage.