back to article Alleged Brit SIM-swapper will kill himself if extradited to US for trial, London court told

A Briton accused of playing a pivotal role in an $8.5m SIM-swapping attack shouldn't be extradited to the US because he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case, a court was told. Corey De Rose, 22, is accused by US prosecutors of using SIM-swapping attacks to steal the identities and cryptocurrency wallets of …

  1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    The US government is appealing that finding.

    Parsing error... I misread that as:

    The US government is finding that appealing.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: The US government is appealing that finding.

      I misparsed it as "The US government is finding that appalling" ... My daughter reports that she initialy read it "The US government is appealing that funding".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No excuse

    Speaking as someone with Asperger's syndrome myself, I know perfectly well the difference between legal and illegal behaviour. I'm sick of people using Asperger's as an excuse for not facing punishment for their acts. If you don't want to do the time (in prison), don't do the crime.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: No excuse

      Fair enough.

      But is it fair and understood by the accused that the UK has a very one-sided extradition deal with the USA for crimes committed by them here? And that the USA legal system is very much less fair if you are not very, very wealthy?

      1. rcxb1 Bronze badge

        Re: No excuse

        <blockquote>But is it fair and understood by the accused that the UK has a very one-sided extradition deal with the USA for crimes</blockquote>

        The fact that the UK isn't receiving extradited criminals from the US has absolutely no effect on or relevance to the accused.

        I hope you're not saying this crime is undeserving of punishment (or extradition), with millions flagrantly stolen.

      2. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: No excuse

        "Fair enough.

        But is it fair and understood by the accused that the UK"

        That's called whataboutery.

        The AC professed that they too have a particular condition. Whatever that actually means in this case - Asperger's is not a simple on off thing. You don't go purple if you have it or green if you don't. Given that no-one has a convincing description of what thinking or consciousness actually means, it is quite tricky to stuff people into neatly labelled boxes.

        In my view and experience, people who "have" Aspergers are simply people. No more or less. When conversing with someone who has Aspergers I find it best if I go easy on the flowery prose and keep it simple. There are a few other rules or guidance to avoid making someone feel uncomfortable, which is what we all try to do with our acquaintances.

        So, how on earth did we end up here?

        We have a person who probably committed a criminal act on foreign soil. Criminal in both our (UK) Criminal Code and the US too. They do have a diagnosis of Aspergers. They were young. There are quite a few more mitigating circumstances depending on whether you are Judge Jeffries of the Hanging Assizes or Kermit the loveable frog. We do have an extradition treaty to the US. It is reciprocal.

        What exactly is your complaint here? I think you need to go easy on the whataboutery and concentrate on facts.

    2. James O'Shea

      Re: No excuse

      Yes. This. I'm _really_ sick of the "I'm autistic, so I'm not responsible" crowd, and the "if someone tries to punish me for what I'm guilty of, I'll kill myself" crowd. Really, really, REALLY sick of them. They make it even more difficult for those of us who have assorted autistic problems; others are now expecting criminal behaviour when they see us. I GREATLY DISLIKE being lumped in with entitled criminals who want a get-out-of-jail-free card instead of punishment for their actions. I manage to do not do anything criminal, and have managed to not do anything criminal for over 60 years. I have zero sympathy. I want the book heaved at this twit. Hard. And fast. He did a serious crime. He needs to take serious punishment.

      My previous comment on this thread was modded. I wonder if this one will make it through.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        "My previous comment on this thread was modded"

        Yeah we switch on manual moderation for sensitive court cases that make our legal ppl jumpy.


        1. Kane Silver badge

          Re: "My previous comment on this thread was modded"

          "Yeah we switch on manual moderation for sensitive court cases that make our legal ppl jumpy."

          Maybe ask them to cut back on the caffeine?

      2. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: No excuse

        Unless there's more to the story than has been written here, then this really doesn't sound like an example of someone using Aspergers as an attempt to avoid punishment/deny responsibility, rather as a way to explain why the stress/fear/uncertainty/etc incurred by being extradited to face trial under an unfamiliar legal system in an unfamiliar environment might prove to be an undesirable outcome of said extradition process.

        I also have zero sympathy for people who knowingly commit crimes, but I do still want them to be treated fairly and humanely by the legal system. Despite what others have commented elsewhere here, I remain unconvinced that the US legal system is capable of doing that even for the average citizen, and even less convinced it'd be true for a foreigner targetted for extradition. If a particular individual has their own issues which would make the extradition process even less pleasant for them, even more reason to tell the US "they're a UK citizen, our legal system is more than capable of handling the prosecution".

    3. Stork Silver badge

      Re: No excuse

      Can’t disagree with you. It just puzzles me they all are subject to extradition proceedings, what they did is criminal under English law and that’s where they (allegedly) committed their crimes.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: No excuse

        The crimes may have been controlled from Blighty, but they actually occurred in the US. I would say the trial should happen where the damages were manifest.

        Makes no sense to try a dude in Japan if a geezer in Spain has had his life-savings stolen.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: No excuse

          I firmly disagree.

          If he committed a crime in the UK, try him in the UK.

          If he didn't, there's no case to answer.

          At no point is there a reason to extradite him to the US for his actions in the UK.

          1. xyz123 Bronze badge

            Re: No excuse

            No case to answer? so if you go on holiday and mug someone and come home, thats it in your opinion, you got away with it?

            Or if you steal someone's life savings via internet scams, its 100% perfectly fine to do as long as it wasn't a british citizen? that sounds like erm....whats the word?

            1. YetAnotherLocksmith

              Re: No excuse

              Well no, there the crime was committed on holiday in the other country. Then upon returning home, they should be extradited back to the other country to face justice there, especially since it is also a crime in this country.

              A distributed system has all the crimes committed across all nodes at the same time - do we pass the criminal from node to node?

              There are some issues with jurisdiction, certainly.

        2. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: No excuse

          I'd say that, where a crime was committed across national borders, the trial should happen in whichever jurisdiction is best placed to handle the trial, unless there's clear reasons why it needs to happen in one or the other (e.g. if the actions of the suspect aren't considered a crime in one country).

          In this case, both the UK and US legal systems take a dim view of the actions carried out here, so there's no reason to believe his punishment would be any less appropriate if found guilty by a UK court. He's already here in the UK, so already positioned to be dealt with by the UK legal system. And as a UK citizen, he's presumed to have a better grasp of the UK legal system vs the US one, so less likely to struggle with/be placed at an unfair disadvantage by the trial process if it were conducted here. So what's the justification for placing him through the mental and physical stress of being extradited to serve trial in completely unfamiliar surroundings?

          In your hypothetical scenario, what if the poor sod who had their savings stolen in Spain was actually a non-resident Brit who'd just gone over there to buy something with said savings? Crime initiated in Japan, completed in Spain, but the damage occurred to a Brit... where would you like the trial to be held in that trifecta of jurisdictional loveliness?

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: No excuse

        "It just puzzles me they all are subject to extradition proceedings, what they did is criminal under English law and that’s where they (allegedly) committed their crimes."

        Extradition usually applies when the victims are in another country. The UK can of course turn down that request, but it's not unusual to be asked when American victims are involved. For the same reason, if someone steals your money from Russia* and you're in the UK, the UK has the right to charge the criminal, may request extradition from Russia, and may request extradition from somewhere else should the criminal travel there. The U.S. is doing the same in this case.

        *Russia used as an example of a country that rarely extradites.

    4. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: No excuse

      Autism is a spectrum, so right & wrong vary.

      Plus what is legal / illegal may not correlate with an individuals sense of right or wrong - there are plenty of UK laws many people disagree with be it illegality of certain drugs, dignitas type of death etc. as it conflicts with peoples sense of what they regard as morally acceptable.

      Maybe as far as the individual was concerned it was a steal from the massively rich to give to the poor type of operation? Maybe they were coerced, or maybe they had bad social skills / savvy and so were easily manipulated (many autistic people are gullible easy marks for manipulative people).

      Without knowing the full story, then conjecture is fairly pointless.

      .. I do know that for most people, being sent to US prison (with very dubious treatment of non wealthy prisoners) and being separated from friends & family (in UK even if prison not that close, friend & family visits are viable fairly often as UK small so travel not too bad an issue - whereas in addition to big costs of USA travel / accommodation, there's also huge hit on the time it all takes ) for a ludicrously long time is enough to cause mental health issues and maybe even suicidal thoughts in many people, autistic or not.

    5. Blazde

      Re: No excuse

      "I'm sick of people using Asperger's as an excuse for not facing punishment for their acts"

      It's not actually the excuse. Suicide risk is the excuse (rightly or wrongly). Asperger diagnoses are being used as evidence of heightened risk of suicide (3 times higher risk according to a quick Google - I've no idea the veracity of that figure), but I'd hope a range of other type of evidence would do equally as well. We just don't see many of the other risk factors disproportionately represented among criminal hackers facing extradition to the US.

  3. jake Silver badge

    "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

    Exceptional? Seems to me that's a standard defense in Blighty.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

      Possibly because life in the American Penal System is as appealing as life in the Gulag.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

        Or so Dear Old Telly tells you. In graphic detail.

        In reality, the high profile white-collar crims wind up in one of several federal prisons that are closer to being country clubs than they are to Wormwood Scrubs.

        1. Wenlocke

          Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

          "high profile"

          Translation: Wealthy (and usually white)

          1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

            Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

            Take out "usually" and you got my vote.

            Always nice when I'm not the one who has to say it.

      2. Bitsminer Bronze badge

        Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

        It's not a gulag for the non-violent. Just ask Lord Black.

    2. Joe Gurman

      Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

      It is getting rather frequent, isn't it?

      1. Every temporarily successful cyber criminal or social engineer in the UK is on the autism spectrum;

      2. every one of those apprehended had a terminally ill mum or disabled wife or yet unborn child or some other family member who could not get care from anyone but Billy the (unextraditable) Kid;

      3. if you even mention the word "extradition" within the suddenly sensitive lad's hearing, he will kill himself (and it's always he, isn't it?);

      4. the similarity in too many cases indicates to me that that the defense briefs are all reading from the same script, and it makes me wonder whether the defendants ever have a say in the matter. Does none of them ever in fact say to his solicitor, "It's a fair cop," only to have the lawyers laugh?

      Does anyone think that HM Wandsworth and Belmarsh are really any better than federal penitentiaries in the US? (I stress "federal," since so many states contract out their prisons to large contractors who may poorly trained guards minimum wage).

  4. Boo Radley

    Protected Custody?

    Don't worry, the US government will make sure he stays alive, until THEY want him dead.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These excuses are really just too much. If you don't want to be extradited to the United States, you have two ways to prevent it: (1) don't commit crimes against citizens of that country; (2) commit your crimes from a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty -- I hear Russia even encourages anti-American crime within its borders. Or at the very least plan on making your way to such a country afterward once you have the money. Instead these guys stuck around arrogantly assuming they wouldn't get caught and rather than accepting the consequences are making assertions that are impossible to disprove to take advantage of softhearted judges. Prison sucks anywhere; that's the point of it, but if you really believe US prisons are so much worse, why steal from Americans? Don't be stupid, and don't expect any sympathy for it.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Remember that he hasn't been found guilty yet, so it is possible that he didn't commit any crimes against citizens of that, or any other country.

  6. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    While sympathize with AC's comment about Aspergers, the sad reality is that the imbalance between the UK and US legal systems makes it understandable that people would throw the kitchen sink into their efforts to block extraditions.

    Even if we take all the statements by the Police/NCA/whoever as true, it seems that there is no terribly good reason to extradite. What we have is a bunch of people doing naughty things in the UK that happen to involve victims in the USA and use systems (servers) that are also (at least partially) owned by Americans. But if a common-or-garden mugger steals an American-in-London's wallet, or pinches a laptop owned by their employer, that's a British crime and should be prosecuted by Brits, notwithstanding the American-ness of the victims.

  7. Apprentice Human

    Being a black hat is now correlated to risk of suicide!

    But only after being caught. Funny about that.

  8. DomDF

    Internet Police

    Hacking's bad, obviously, but what makes it any of the Yanks' business? Have they been appointed as internet police suddenly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet Police

      How about a hypothetical? If you launched a rock in France and break a window in Germany, where does the trial take place?

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Internet Police

      "Corey De Rose, 22, is accused by US prosecutors of using SIM-swapping attacks to steal the identities and cryptocurrency wallets of American citizens, legal newswire CourtNewsUK reported."

      Feel free to read the article next time.

      1. Sven Coenye

        Re: Internet Police

        Dunno, but I'm sure Belgium will get run over on the way there...

      2. JamesTGrant

        Re: Internet Police

        I’ll bite!

        If it’s illegal to throw a rock (reckless endangerment or some such) in France then you get tried for that, in France.

        If it’s illegal to break a window in Germany (criminal damage or some such) then you get tried for that, in Germany.

        N’est pas?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Internet Police

          Then suppose it's not a crime to throw a rock in France, and he's still in France? Does that mean no crime is committed because he never set foot in Germany, particularly if France refuses to extradite? This is the crux of the argument at this point.

          1. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: Internet Police

            If French law decided that throwing a stone was legal, that would merely render the cause of the incident legal, but would have no bearing on whether its effect was legal. That'd be for German law to decide, and in your scenario it would be illegal => a crime has still been committed.

            If the French then refused to extradite, this would clearly have an effect on whether or not the offender would face justice for the crime, but it'd have no relevance on whether or not the crime ever existed in the first place.

        2. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: Internet Police

          N'est-ce pas !

      3. Xalran

        Re: Internet Police

        Strangely in France if you get arrested in France and in Germany if you get arrested in Germany... Because EU... or in Belgium if that's where you get arrested. ( and if there's an EU Wide arrest warrant on you )

  9. Claverhouse Silver badge

    'Using The Name Live Cr00k...'

    And there was their first clue...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep him please.

    (1) 18 is very young, and it was a non violent crime. In this case I feel the overriding consideration should be reform, and statistically there is a good chance of him becoming a contributing member of society. Being in a place his mother or other family can visit may be an important part of that.

    (2) Crypto has not imploded like tulips did only because it is the currency of crime, including ransomware. Any other valid use (apart from speculation) is vanishingly small, << 1% of all transactions. Despite which we see crypto becoming an integral part of Wall Street, and political lobbyists greasing the way.

    (3) What kind of idiot keeps millions accessible via a phone SIM card - a well known vulnerability? Did the money come so easily that he just didn't care? Cf. a doddery pensioner being bilked out of their meager life savings through phone fraud. Not the same.

    Please keep this young offender on your side of the Atlantic, I know the British justice system is capable of handling his punishment and reform.

    I see no reason why US taxpayers should be on the hook for the several $100K a year to imprison and punish him in order to avenge that crypto fool.

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Keep him please.

      "I see no reason why US taxpayers should be on the hook for the several $100K a year to imprison and punish him in order to avenge that crypto fool."

      - the prison industrial complex may view that differently.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep him please.


      It's time we stop this pathetic "get out of (US) jail" argument and recognise it for the BS it is. If you engage in this crap you damn well know what the consequenses are, and no, Aspergers' is no excuse: Aspies definitely know right from wrong.

      The idea of jail is twofold: stop the bad guy, but also inform other wannebe crimianls out there that here is a price to pay. Too many are allowed to hide behind frankly incredibly weak arguments which only serve to encourage the next moron because consequences can be avoided, and will inform the subject at hand that they receive at best a slap on the wrist with a wet noodle, so please carry on.

      It has to stop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Keep him please.

        While I agree with everything you've written (and made a similar comment myself, above), one of the observations I deleted was on the exact subject of the cost of prosecution and incarceration. If I were British I would be glad to have the Americans take on that cost. The eventual outcome is going to be the same either way: a fine and restitution that will never be paid and a minimum-security prison term of a few years. It's quite hard to kill oneself in a prison -- unless you know too much about the powerful, obviously -- and people who steal cryptocurrency aren't exactly going to attract the kind of lethal attention from guards and fellow inmates that cannibals and child rapists do. At the end of it all, he'll be in the UK, alive but not well and with a permanent blot on his record that will make productive participation in civil society quite difficult. It would surprise me if he, like most former prisoners, doesn't end up an habitual offender. None of this depends on where he's tried or sentenced, so from a practical standpoint the US and UK ought to rochambeau for it, with the loser paying.

        It's true that prison is supposed to be a deterrent. Certainly it deters me from many actions I might otherwise take, but it also seems to me that there are many people for whom it doesn't function that way at all. There have always been people the law seems powerless to deter or punish effectively. In the past they were removed through capital punishment or transportation, but it's impossible to take seriously the idea that even public hangings effectively deterred others when the need for more of them never diminished. The entire modern idea of crime and punishment is merely depressing: former inmates have few prospects and usually develop additional criminal contacts while incarcerated, so they almost always become repeat offenders. The near-certainty of another prison term doesn't deter them regardless of how horrible it is. No one has the stomach for capital punishment so they simply spend their lives walking through the revolving doors while the rest of us pay an obscene price for it, not to mention the crime itself.

        I should note that this particular case would likely be tried under federal jurisdiction in the US, and the federal prison system is operated by the government so the considerations around privately-run prisons are not germane. But the cost of publicly-operated prisons is no trivial matter and I don't see that it's any better for the tax revenue to end up in the pockets of guards than those of some private operator's CEO. Whether you want to highlight the "prison-industrial complex" as another poster did or the fatcat guards' unions, the problem is the same: crime may not pay, but failing to punish it effectively sure does.

        So in principle I want him extradited because his lawyer's argument is an atrocity against common sense. In practice I accept that the only difference that will make to the overall outcome is that Americans will pay for his inevitable imprisonment instead of Britons. How depressing that we as a collection of societies failed so miserably to convince this young man to do right, failed equally to protect others from his depredations, and will now fail once more by punishing him in a way that costs us a great deal of money yet neither deters others nor reforms him. If you want your pound of flesh you will not find me opposed, but your victory will be a pyrrhic one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Keep him please.

        It has to stop.

        What is 'it', ransomware? I certainly agree. Pulling the plug on cryptocurrency would go a long way towards that. Oh, but that would ravage the fortunes of those who have invested in crypto or are in the business, and we can't have that, especially as some of them are extremely wealthy and have political connections that are growing with time.

        I'm certainly not trying to excuse this young lad. Just saying that proportional justice should leave him in the UK.

        1. wwwd

          Re: Keep him please.

          More crime uses fiat currency to transact - should we ban that, too?

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Keep him please.

      Point 3 is classic victim blaming. People don't know that SIM swapping is so risky. Maybe the technical systems should be changed so it's safer, so it's not their fault. Maybe we need to tell more people about it. As for keeping millions that way, it added up to millions, but you don't know who they stole from. In order to get there, you can bet that they were taking large amounts from each victim, likely most or all of what they could. So it really is the same as "Cf. a doddery pensioner being bilked out of their meager life savings through phone fraud."

      Point 2 is irrelevant. This crime stole cryptocurrency. If there wasn't any, they would have attacked other investments or bank accounts. SIM swapping attacks go after those all the time, using similar methods, with similar effects, cryptocurrency absent.

  11. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    The logical progression

    If arrested and forced to stand trial, I will simply threaten to kill myself and thus be immune to the consequences of my actions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The logical progression

      I agree. To be brutally honest, I'd encourage the act.

      1 - it's an implied threat. Calling it removes its power.

      2 - excellent, please do. You'll save tax payers on either side quite a bit of money.

      3 - you committed a crime. Willingly, not coerced and fully aware that there would be consequences if you were caught. Well, if you don't want the risk, don't commit the crime. It's not rocket science.

      So no, I'm not worried about it. The only way to end this BS about picking your own place and sentence just because you're allegedly special has to stop. You're not special, you're a common criminal trying to get away with it. Boohoo. Please go ahead, let me know if you need any help or extra rope.

      Just don't taint the lives of those who are so desperate they really are at the point of suicide - THEY need help. Not you.

  12. msobkow Silver badge

    Hey, why not, Assange is getting away with it.

    That is how to get out of extradition in the UK, eh? Just threaten to end it all, and you're safe. :(

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Using a SMS for 2FA is NOT secure, yet more and more online services are requiring you verify your identity with SMS. Even for simple things such as a free email account.

    We have seen from other stories how vastly different the US and UK sentences can be for these sort of crimes. He could be looking at 20 years prison in the US, yet would probably get half that if sentenced in the UK. And considering that extraditing someone for a theft of $50M of Bitcoin might sound like a lot today, but that could be worth 25p in another 6 months time since its so volatile in its value, so why go to the effort to extradite him, just charge him with whatever crime is proportionate here in the UK.

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith

      I'm wondering what the value of the 50 Bitcoin was when they were stolen. If it was 2 years ago, it was a few hundred pounds. So do we charge them with theft of the value that it is now, or that it was when it was stolen?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Using a SMS for 2FA is NOT secure, yet more and more online services are requiring you verify your identity with SMS. Even for simple things such as a free email account.

      LOL - do you really think that has anything to do with security? No, this is just a way to ensure they have a tracker for you, because few change mobile phone numbers often. That's why Google has this gig of making you "prove your age" by means of a phone number for YouTube, because kids naturally don't have a phone. That's why Zuck bought WhatsApp - no for the messages, but for the involuntary donation every user gives when they install the app as the very first thing it does is copy the entire phonebook in the phone to Zuck's server (which, BTW, makes it effectively illegal to install it in Europe on a business phone if it has client details stored).

      Indeed, SMS based 2FA is not secure, but that's old news. Beware of companies still trying to ram it down your throat, because it ain't for security at all.

  14. MrMerrymaker

    Should not matter

    I mean he did wrong

    I would be happy to blame the US for this trust me

    But you can't just threaten suicide to avoid justice.

  15. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    Why does the excuse sound eerily familiar?

    This whole "I'll kill myself if I'm extradited" sounds like these guys stole a major plot element from Gilbert & Sullivan's _The Pirates of Penzance_. For those unfamiliar with it...the pirates are all orphans and will release anyone they capture who claims to be an orphan. Word about that has gotten around, so all their victims are now claiming to be orphans...

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Why does the excuse sound eerily familiar?

      For he is an orphan boy

      Hurrah for the orphan boy!

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Why does the excuse sound eerily familiar?

      I was thinking of Blazing Saddles, where Bart (Cleavon Little) takes himself hostage. "Everybody back off or the *** gets it."

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: Why does the excuse sound eerily familiar?

        It can be uncanny when life imitates art. I think it is mostly disillusioning when life imitates cartoons. Cheers!

  16. Joe Dietz

    Criminal prosecution is the civilized thing

    The point of prosecution is that the government has to prove that you did a crime in a manner that requires particular rules to be followed. People are acquitted all the time (some news to that effect over here in fact). The US justice system may not be perfect, but it is no kangaroo court either. Ducking prosecution just leaves you 'beyond the law'... which is where vigilantism comes in. I think we would all really rather we keep with the civilized path to punishment.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Criminal prosecution is the civilized thing

      Oh please. The US justice system is as kangaroo as you can get.

      I've watched three trials and read into a fourth this year. In all four the prosecutors have lied about the law, in the three I've watched they've also committed prosecutorial misconduct - and got away with it - including in two of them fabricating evidence, and in all three lying about basic facts, not to mention constitutional violations.

      Then you've got the grotesque plea bargaining system on top of that, the blatant political bias in who get prosecuted, the pursuit of blatantly political trials, the mistreatment of prisoners awaiting trial, the withholding of evidence from the defence.. well, justice it is not.

      The UK system has flaws and issues but trust me, I'd much rather be tried - whether guilty or innocent - in the UK than the US.

      Which is what should happen here. If UK law has been broken, prosecute. That's not ducking, that's justice.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Criminal prosecution is the civilized thing

        I’ve sat on jury service for two crown court trials in the UK.

        And whilst I cannot repeat what went on, I can tell you that I would not be very confident if I were accused and innocent in a UK crown court.

      2. Joe Dietz

        Re: Criminal prosecution is the civilized thing

        Kangaroo is what happens when you are just taken out back after trial and shot. I think you need to readjust your rhetorical scale a bit.

        Point still stands - prosecution is a civilized way of dealing with crime. The alternative is you rob the wrong guy and just end up dead someplace. We don't want that.

  17. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    100 bitcoins

    I remember spending 100 bitcoins once, I was able to buy a new miner because the old one had died.

    Getting jailed can be a pain in the ass if he's a BAME guy but if you are white and smart then it's not so bad. I had a friend with similar issues who was jailed back in the late 60's for weed possession, he only got 6 months but made friends and ran his own import and marketing business after he was released, he did very well, retired many years ago as a rich guy halfway across the world.

  18. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge

    Equality Act?

    I thought we had an Equality Act in the UK which requires people to be treated equally?

    This smacks of special treatment for certain types of people; like we used to have a few hundred years ago before we knew better.....

    If there is sufficient evidence that they should be extradited to the US then they should be extradited regardless of what they claim will happen.

    Otherwise there is no deterent to others.

    If the first one had been extradited would the others have committed their alleged crimes or would they have thought twice?

  19. Al fazed Bronze badge


    A lot of sound and rational arguments, however what if the miscreant blags their way onto devices with common or garaden software, say like Facebook. They get caught in the act, then should they go to stand trial in every country that has a victim involved in the scam ?

    This seems like the behaviour of a pack of dogs to me.

    It's also seems obvious that if someone bombs Russia from a computing device in the USA, that the Russian Government would want the US culprit to show up in court in Russia ........

    Don't it get confusing ?

    If you hack someone in every country, it could become another World Tour tea shirt slogan.............


  20. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Cross-border criminal acts

    I'm not a lawyer, don't play one on TV, and confess to watching too much crime fiction/police procedurals (The Sweeney, Morse, Bond)

    This stack exchange answer sheds some light on the process:

    Law Stack Exchange: Who has jurisdiction if a crime is committed across an international border?

    There's no particular place where the alleged crime is committed. The alleged perpetrator was located in the UK at the time of the crime, the alleged victim a US citizen, so both countries can claim jurisdiction, and it is up to the governments to agree between themselves how to handle it. Hence an extradition treaty. Russia will not allow a Russian citizen to be extradited from Russia - I think that is in the Russian constitution.

    There's no 'World Government' that sets international law. It's up to how individual countries agree with treaties to behave with each other. An absolute monarch or dictator can do as they see fit. Using gunboats to enforce extraterritorial laws is a bit outdated, so it's mostly negotiation these days.

    Note that claiming jurisdiction means very little. Whoever is holding the alleged criminal has to agree to send them on their way. Extradition treaties just standardise the process.

  21. xyz123 Bronze badge

    Your honor, I shouldn't go to prison nor give back that £100million I robbed from the bank, because I am depressed and might top myself.

    This should not be a viable defence. It's abuse when a boy/girlfriend threatens self harm if you leave them.

    This should be the same. The guy can receive the same level of mental assistance in the US as the UK.

  22. nautica Bronze badge

    "Stop me if you've heard this one before..."

    The mindlessness and lack of any originality on the part of lawyers ('scuse ME: "barristers") gets really tiresome.

    Once Julian Assange and his lawyers tried this argument appeal-to-sympathy, one could literally hear all lawyers, everywhere, saying, "Wow! Why didn't I think of this? I'm putting this one in my play-book also!"

    Big clue, Sherlocks: something like this is like a beer-can: it can only be used one time.

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith

      Re: "Stop me if you've heard this one before..."

      It's literally the only way to bar the extradition.

  23. Long John Silver

    The Extradition Act 2003 does not go far enough

    The 2003 Act was response to palpable defects in a previous agreement drawn up with the USA. Even so it does not go far enough.

    In general, if the accused is a USA citizen whose purpose for residing in the UK can be shown as little more than evading US justice then extradition ought be appropriate. Caveats might include doubt about US motivation being political and US sentencing policy being deemed too severe by UK standards.

    Similar considerations could apply to other foreign nationals resident in the UK. However, if strong connection with the USA cannot be established and the alleged crime is not considered gross then deportation to country of origin may simplify matters from the UK perspective.

    As matters stand, if the alleged crime is not regarded such in the UK there should be no grounds for considering an extradition request. If it is a crime in the UK too then American authorities ought seek to convince UK authorities to mount prosecution.

    Unfortunately the 2003 Act was botched. Mental distress and possible suicide should not be the only grounds for refusing extradition of a British citizen.

    The tragic case of Julian Assange makes all too evident where successive British governments' sympathy lies. If there had been an iota of humanity among our self-aggrandising leaders a Home Secretary (perhaps instructed by the cabinet) could have used existing powers to halt extradition proceedings. Even were such powers unavailable Parliament, under our titular monarch, is supreme.

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