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Extradition of Warez Suspect Blocked 691

An anonymous reader writes "Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the extradition of alleged DrinkorDie leader Hew Raymond Griffiths has been denied. The judge in the case ruled that Griffiths, an Australian who had never set foot in the United States, had committed the alleged actions in Australia and had never fled from an extradition country. Therefore, the US hadn't made its case. Griffiths' attorney points out that he should have faced trial in Australia if anywhere, but .au authorities never charged him, which upset the DOJ and led to the extradition attempt. More info can also be found. The US (represented by Australian prosecutors) have fifteen days to appeal. One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach."
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Extradition of Warez Suspect Blocked

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  • by boogy nightmare ( 207669 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:07AM (#8677753) Homepage
    Getting the criminals OUT of Aussie...

    Damn it we tried very hard to get them all in there :)

    • Re:Thats a new twist (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pinky99 ( 741036 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:11AM (#8677766)
      You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know, that US govt would never give away one of their citizens to another countries authorities....
      • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:12AM (#8678028) Journal
        You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know, that US govt would never give away one of their citizens to another countries authorities....

        That's because we don't need to. The U.S. is perfectly capable of

        When I was a kid, I used to mock my leftist acquaintances (hi Anne!) for their devotion to the Soviet Union despite the Soviet Union's abysmal record on human rights and liberties as detailed, among many other places, in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago [britannica.com]. While I also derided Joe McCarthy and his ilk, little did I guess that a Republican administration would start off the twenty-first century with a scramble to enact laws as threatening to liberty as the Soviets'.

        Under current American law, you can actually get ten years in Federal prison -- for editing a book written in country under U.S. embargo. [hartfordadvocate.com] That's right: editing a book written by a Iranian or a Cuba or a Syrian or a North Korean -- or even adding illustrations to such a book -- is now a criminal offense in this the "land of the free and home of the brave".

        And to and insult to injury, the same administration that is trampling our traditional liberties

        How about protecting the Bill of Rights and the Twin Towers first, and worry about denying gays their pursuit of happiness as part of a cheap political appeal to your Fundamentalist base after you've explained where those WMDs got to?

        Oh, I nearly forgot: on Wednesday, President Bush used the occasion of a media dinner to joke about not finding the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that were his excuse for going to war. [washingtontimes.com]

        Mr. President, there are more than 500 young American service men and servicewomen who fought and died in Iraq who won't ever be able to laugh at any jokes again. They went to Iraq because they believed your word about the WMDs, Mr. President. And to you safely back in Washington, it's all a joke, Mr. President.

        This administration may be laughable, but it's not funny anymore.
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          Amen, brother.

          Bush is a horrible example of a politician and statesman. He has crass timing and shows no respect to issues that demand the deepest respect.

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it agreed between the parties to not use 9/11 as a political springboard during re-election? What footage features prominently in GWB's ads? Exactly. He's about the US when it suits him, and about himself all other times. He'll never go out on a limb to help the US, unless there's a lucrative deal involved. He's

        • Re:Thats a new twist (Score:5, Informative)

          by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @08:35AM (#8678519) Homepage Journal
          Mr. President, there are more than 500 young American service men and servicewomen who fought and died in Iraq who won't ever be able to laugh at any jokes again. They went to Iraq because they believed your word about the WMDs, Mr. President.

          I have no dispute with the rest of your post, but I just have to correct this. The American soldiers in Iraq didn't go there because they believed the President. They went there, because they're in the military, and in the military you follow orders that your commander gives you. First, because you are bound by your duty and honor as a soldier to do so, and second because they put you in jail if you don't. It has nothing to do with belief.
        • by ratamacue ( 593855 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @09:48AM (#8678919)
          there are more than 500 young American service men and servicewomen who fought and died in Iraq

          Very true, and there are also thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians who were killed because of the invasion/occupation, each equally as important and deserving of life as the American soldiers. Common sense tells me that such injustice can only further enrage the proponents of terrorism. No doubt I will get flamed for this -- it's not considered "patriotic" to express concern for "collateral damage".

          Just wanted to point that out, otherwise I fully agree with your post.

    • Or they'll give you the boot
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:14AM (#8677778)
      I've seen this several times now - someone referring to Australia as 'Aussie'.

      What the fuck? An Aussie would be an Australian, not the fucking country.

      Can America be referred to as Yankee? Can Britan be referred to as Brit? No for fuck's sake!
      • by rishistar ( 662278 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:12AM (#8678027) Homepage

        The country would be Oz (as in Wizard of).

        The people are Aussies - not Ozzies.....which would make a nation of ex-heavy metal rockers who did too many drugs in their youth and now walk around not quite sure whats really going on in the world who would still vote John Howard as premier.

        For real hardcore nerds you can add Oz [uni-muenchen.de] to the list off programming languages you have heard about but never delved into.

      • Re:Thats a new twist (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:14AM (#8678036)
        "I've seen this several times now - someone referring to Australia as 'Aussie'.

        "What the fuck? An Aussie would be an Australian, not the fucking country."

        Native Australians never refer to the country as "Aussie" - it is, however, quite common for our neighbours across the ditch (ie., New Zealanders) to use the term "Aussie" instead of "Australia".

        You may have to get used to more NZ-isms as the CER (Closer Economic Relations) grows into a full-blown common market (currently predicted to happen within the next five years); at that point you will hear more references to "Aussie" (such as "the Aussie" when referring to the Australian dollar), particularly as it sounds like NZ are considering adopting a common currency (ie., ours).

        • by mabinogi ( 74033 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:24AM (#8678070) Homepage
          Actually, New Zealanders as a whole are far more likely to use the full word. We don't tend to go as overboard as Australians when it comes to abbreviations and acronyms.
          Until moving to Australia, I never believed it possible that anyone would abbreviate so many words and names by taking the first syllable (or sometimes just the first letter) and adding "o" "ie" or "az" (or "azza") to the end....
          Arvo, Servo, Garbo, Presie, Daz(za), Shaz(za), Baz(za), Jez, etc...

          Though I think you're probabbly right about Aussie though...
      • Re:Thats a new twist (Score:4, Informative)

        by kiwirob ( 588600 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:08AM (#8678227) Homepage
        I live in New Zealand and we refer to Aussie as a country all the time. In fact I went to Aussie in November for a friends wedding.

        But perhaps we get special rights after those cheating aussie bastard bowled underarm against us in cricket. wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
      • Can America be referred to as Yankee?

        No no, we refer to America as the Axel Grease of Evil.
  • Reaction (Score:5, Funny)

    by piquadratCH ( 749309 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:10AM (#8677758)
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach. Invade it? Ofcourse only if said country sits on shitloads of oil.
    • Re:Reaction (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:18AM (#8677802)
      i don't know how they would react if italy tried to ask the extradiction of an U.S. cracker, but i can tell you this: on February 3rd 1998, a low-flying U.S. Marine surveillance jet on a "ramboing" flight accidentally (?) cut a ski-lift cable-car line in Cavalese (italy), causing all 20 people aboard to fall some 260 ft to their deaths. The american pilots were kept safe and protected into the base by their chiefs, brought back to U.S., and declared not-guilty by an american military court. for what i know they still fly. They never appeared in front of an italian court.
    • Rogue State (Score:5, Interesting)

      by passthecrackpipe ( 598773 ) * <passthecrackpipe AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:10AM (#8678018)
      You will be branded a Rogue State(tm), part of The Axis Of Evil(tm), Your President/Prime Minister/Supreme Commander/Russian Overlord will be declared an Evildoer(tm), all your money will be taken, you will be held responsible for a terrorist attack in the form of an executive pretzel swallowing incident, and thus, after your nation has been drained from all resources, brainpower and any other useful assets, it will get the shit bombed out of it. When that is done your country will be placed on the WTO/WIPO shitlist, so your country won't have enough money to recover. Haliburton (owned by the vice prez of the country that wanted you extradited in the first place) will offer to rebuild your infrastructure he so thoughtfully bombed a month before, at outrageous cost, and then Monsalto will come and force GM crops down your populations throats at a high price (subscriptions available, terms and conditions apply), to be paid yearly.

      Of course, being a good citizen of the Western World(tm) I merely jest, and at no time have thought any Really Unpatriotic Thoughts.... hang on, what are those black heli [no carrier]
    • Re:Reaction (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The US responds very negatively to this. Infact I believe they will not ratify the International Criminal Court for this very reason. People like Henry Kissinger would end up in the Hague with Milosovich if it did:

      http://www.globalcomment.com/current_affairs/art ic le_41.asp

      As usual double standards....
  • good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mushroom blue ( 8836 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:10AM (#8677759)
    I'm not a fan of piracy, but if Australia felt like going easy on him, that's his concern. he never broke a law in the united states. is someone going to arrest me for a law I broke in Ukraine?

    this could have set a dangerous precedent. considering how foreigners rights can be trampled due to the PATRIOT act, I'm glad we can't add unlawful and/or unwilling extradition to the list of powers we hold over non-citizens.
    • Re:good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 404 Clue Not Found ( 763556 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:44AM (#8677918)
      I'm glad we can't add unlawful and/or unwilling extradition to the list of powers we hold over non-citizens.

      Does Guantanamo Bay count?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:50AM (#8677950)
      It's very clear that in international conventions about extraditions, countries are allowed to deny any extradition request for its own nationals. Actually, I don't know any country who does !

      eg:

      European Convention on Extradition
      Paris, 13.XII.1957 ...
      Article 6 - Extradition of nationals

      A Contracting Party shall have the right to refuse extradition of its nationals.

      Each Contracting Party may, by a declaration made at the time of signature or of deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession, define as far as it is concerned the term "nationals" within the meaning of this Convention.

      Nationality shall be determined as at the time of the decision concerning extradition. If, however, the person claimed is first recognised as a national of the requested Party during the period between the time of the decision and the time contemplated for the surrender, the requested Party may avail itself of the provision contained in sub-paragraph a of this article.
      If the requested Party does not extradite its national, it shall at the request of the requesting Party submit the case to its competent authorities in order that proceedings may be taken if they are considered appropriate. For this purpose, the files, information and exhibits relating to the offence shall be transmitted without charge by the means provided for in Article 12, paragraph 1. The requesting Party shall be informed of the result of its request.
      • by EinarH ( 583836 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:50AM (#8678157) Journal
        Actually, I don't know any country who does !
        Some countries, many of them in Europe, don't allow extradition to countries that carry out the death penalty.
        Since there are no extradition agreement each case has to be handled individually (think endless exchange of information, trial data and diplomatic correspondence).
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:10AM (#8677760) Journal
    There was a story [slashdot.org] on /. just recently where the USA was attempting to add DMCA-like clauses in order for a trade agreement to go ahead... Don't get me wrong here - there's nothing wrong with a country trying to get as much as it can from any international deal, it's just that I loath the DMCA and its kin...

    Simon.
  • Favourite Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by notamac ( 750472 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:12AM (#8677771) Homepage
    the decision is a strong message to the United States Department of Justice that it will not be allowed to hijack the laws of a sovereign nation merely because it is dissatisfied with said country's laws

    Here here! Even if our laws do need adjusting, I'd hate to think that American laws applied applied on my home turf - or any other countries for that matter.
    Still, piracy is bad, and it hurts my pocket, so I hope that he can be prosecuted in Australia still.
    • Re:Favourite Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:01AM (#8677986)
      Oh man! You must be so naive its just not funny...

      The US have relied on trade negotiations to enforce their foreign policy around the globe for decades. If you honestly think that this is the first example of American laws being applied in Australia or anywhere else you're sadly mistaken. Drug policy globally is dictated by the US, for a start, and thats really just a start.

      Plus for one final putdown; the guy was involved in the circumvention of anti-piracy measures in software. In other words, he just cracked the games - he didn't host warez servers, he didn't courier the games, he just played around with software, which thankfully isn't a crime in Australia yet. In the US it is illegal, and they wanted to charge him with breaches copyright breaches in the 10s of millions of dollars. Australia sensibly said that he broke no crime here and so can't be convicted of a crime in another country.

      Honestly, its actually a bit of a no story. Its just because we have the 'cyberspace' connections (and no doubt the zeal of the RIAA, MPAA etc) that this was even thought about as an option. An equivalent scenario would be the US seeking to extradite someone from Australia who drank alcohol back in the prohibition days. Its just ridiculous.
      • Re:Favourite Quote (Score:3, Insightful)

        by notamac ( 750472 ) *
        The US have relied on trade negotiations to enforce their foreign policy around the globe for decades. If you honestly think that this is the first example of American laws being applied in Australia or anywhere else you're sadly mistaken. Drug policy globally is dictated by the US, for a start, and thats really just a start.

        Yep America does influence laws in other countries (include Australia - damn Free Trade Agreement if it gets through) through trade negotiations and the like... I suppose the big di
        • Re:Favourite Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:41AM (#8678122)
          Ok pre-qualification for the next statement: I think DeCSS was a good thing so far that it allowed me to play DVD's on my Linux machine. It strikes me however that this guys cracking had no intent of being for allowing me to use things that I had a license for in whatever media player I wanted - the games were being cracked for the sole purpose of other people downloading them. That to me seems to be a bad thing, and I'd hope that after making such things public that one could be prosecuted for them. He *did* make his tinkering available to the public after all.

          I have legally bought the game Morrowind (or a license to use it or whatever it is you actually get from a software store nowadays). Unfortunately, the copy protection of Morrowind causes my system to crash at the game startup. Fortunately, some kind soul cracked the game, removing said copy protection, and made it available online. Therefore your conclusion that cracks are only good for piracy is incorrect; it is only the crack which has allowed me to use a software I have a legal right on using.

          Furthermore, most games nowadays copy everything into the hard drive and only need CD in the drive for CD checks. I, for one, am quite annoyed at having to keep the CD's nearby... NO-CD patches are a blessing, and should absolutely not be illegal.

        • by Merk ( 25521 )

          A few years ago I bought a game. I went to install it and it asked me for the CD key. I looked on the jewel case and in the little box where the CD key was supposed to be printed there was nothing. I'm 99% sure this was a fully legal game. The manuals, discs, and box all looked fully authentic. I think they just had a printing error.

          So I called up the game company's support line, and after an hour on hold, someone came online and I explained my problem. I asked if I could be sent a working CD key

  • by Gleenie ( 412916 ) * <simon.c.green@g m a i l . c om> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:13AM (#8677775)
    ... but finally my country shows some spine. He should be prosecuted in Australia, under Australian law. If the department of public prosecutions has seen fit not to charge him, then it either means that a) they don't think there's a case, or b) they're out chasing murderers like they should be.

    No offence intended to my American colleagues, but please respect everyone else's borders!
  • by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <jim@@@mmdc...net> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:14AM (#8677777) Homepage
    I remember hearing that during the 1980's, Iran's government officially tried to extradite Madonna and Michael Jackson so that they could be put to death on obscenity charges.

    Google is not proving helpful in finding any references to this at the moment...

  • They will react... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sw155kn1f3 ( 600118 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:14AM (#8677780)
    > One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    They will react by making an appeal by the means of court. What poster of this article is expecting them to do ? Cover-bomb Australia or what ?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:12AM (#8678025)
      Well, consider that the US actually made invasion plans of the Netherlands to "liberate" Americans held captive for trial by the international court in The Hague.

      One could therefore argue that the US wouldn't be playing by the usual rules when an extradition request is made...
  • It's a no-brainer. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BadDoggie ( 145310 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:15AM (#8677785) Homepage Journal
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    The US wouldn't accept it [iccnow.org].

    In 1984, the World Court ordered the U.S. to respect Nicaragua's borders and to halt the mining of its harbors by the CIA. In 1986, the World Court found our country guilty of violations of international law through its support of the Contras and ordered the payment of reparation to Nicaragua. Needless to say, we ignored both of those rulings.

    Now, we must affirm that the United States will not cede its sovereignty to an institution which claims to have the power to override the United States legal system and to pass judgment on our foreign policy actions. We must refuse to allow our soldiers and Government officials to be exposed to trial for promoting the national security interests of the United States and deny the international court's self-declared right to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish U.S. citizens for supposed crimes committed on American soil which is arguably unconstitutional.

    [Emphasis mine]

    The U.S. steadfastly refuses to play by its own rules, much less anyone else's.

    woof.

    • by irokitt ( 663593 ) <archimandrites-iaurNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:45AM (#8677923)
      While the World Court is ignored by America (and not entirely without merit in some instances), I wonder what would happen if a friendly nation (i.e. Britain) tried to extradite someone on electronic fraud charges. Nicaruagua is a good example of general US policy, but not of the specifics of a "wired" crime extradition.

      So to put it in general terms, if someone were to pull the sort of crimes Mitnick did, on a British company or individual, and Britain wanted his or her ass, would America comply?
      • by BadDoggie ( 145310 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:08AM (#8678013) Homepage Journal
        That depends on whether the U.S. wanted to try him first for committing the crime on American soil.

        Imagine that Joe Cracker is an American who hacks BritBank from his home in Wisconsin. He's committed a crime in two countries. Britain wants him and files for extradition. The US DOJ wants another headline-grabbing case. Realistically, DOJ would probably try Joe in US courts and upon conviction, send him over for trial in the UK on the condition that he be returned to the US to serve his US jail term, after which he'd be shipped to the British prison if they wanted.

        It changes a little if Joe Cracker is a British citizen. The US may be more willing to let the British courts have him and simply deport him, saving the troublesome extradition hearings.

        Consider a much more realistic and historical case: Gary Lauck, prime producer and shipper of neo-Nazi material to Europe. He's an American citizen who shipped the stuff to, among other countries, Germany, where it's illegal. Germany filed for extradition and the U.S. steadfastly refused on the grounds he had broken no U.S. law. He couldn't be nailed for the content due to First Amendment and he couldn't be nailed on Postal charges because, while illegal in the recipient country, there was nothing fraudulent or illegal about his shipping the materials in general.

        Germany finally did get hold of him when he went to Denmark. Seem El Fuhrerito forgot about the EU and that if Germany had a warrant that Denmark would honour it. The U.S. didn't fight this, but only because the entire process took place after Lauck had voluntarily left U.S. soil.

        woof.

    • by MrIrwin ( 761231 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:17AM (#8678049) Journal
      could add a recent case in Italy. A US air crew cut the cable of a ski lift killing 30 tourists.

      Both the civil *and* US military investigation found the pilot guilty of misconduct (should not have been doing low altitude manouvres in that area....it was a busy ski resort and it appears that he was just going for a joyride...showing off) but the pilot got off with a 1 year sospension, never came to court in Italy (which under Italian law he should do), and the families of the victims had to accept a blanket payoff.

    • by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:31AM (#8678091) Homepage
      Attorney Humlen, lecturer in international law at the university of Oslo, has a lot of strange, sometimes funny anecdotes about international events. As I recall, he recounted the nicaragua harbor-mining incident more or less like this:
      Nicaragua's head of state said something unflattering about Reagan in a public speech. Reagan, perhaps as a result of the onset of senile dementia, thought that mining the harbors of Nicaragua was a reasonable response.
      This of course provoked incredulous responses from the rest of the world, and the court in question did rule the action illegal. However, since US support for the court was essential to its success, they made the penalty as light as they possibly could: just pay for the cleanup, please.

      Unfortunately, that wasn't light enough for the US government, and they have since boycotted the international court in question.

      (errors in this anecdote are probably due to me, not attorney Humlen)
  • Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:15AM (#8677787) Homepage Journal
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    Then "one" hasn't read enough on the subject.

    When asked about possibly extraditing Neo Nazi webmasters to Germany where it's illegal to do things like...Deny the Holocaust or glorify Hitler; John Russell, a U.S. justice department spokesman said "In order to have extradition, you have to have dual criminality in both countries, and this doesn't meet that standard,"

    Google for "Fred Leuchter german extradition" and you'll get a few links.

    The US Government wouldn't do it, so how can they expect Australia to?

    LK
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:20AM (#8677812)
    Local authorities failed to deal with the problem, which is bad. But the extradition attempt are a perfect example of they way to go if America wants everyone to hate them. The big bully strikes again.
    Personally if I lived there and he were shipped to the US, US would lose another star in my book as well as my local goverment for kissing their ass.
    I don't hate America, but when they try to do the "hey look, we are the greatest country in the world, everybody follow us" stunt, I'd like to be able to shut them up.
    Guess what, I think that MY country is the greatest in the world, but you can come in as number two.
  • Reaction of USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:22AM (#8677829) Homepage Journal
    ``One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.''

    I find it scary enough what the US has done in cases like this one:

    If it's just one criminal, just anger. If it happens more often, economic sanctions or cutting of diplomatic ties. If the criminal has been labeled a terrorist (hmm, could this dude be a cyberterrorist?), war.

    That's the reaction against the country itself. As to the alledged criminal, they could invite them to the US and arrest them there. Or they could send some intelligence agents to kidnap them.

    I believe these things have happened in the past. Sklyarov was invited to the US and arrested. Afghanistan didn't (refused or couldn't) deliver Bin Laden and was conquered. As for kidnapping, I seem to recall some incident in Africa...was it Kenia? I don't know, but I think there have been cases.
    • [As to the alledged criminal, they could invite them to the US and arrest them there.]

      I guess this now means he can not travel to the US without getting arrested at the borders. But I wonder if the US has ties with other countries with more "sharing" extradition deals? Can he safely go to Canada for example?
  • US: The Global Cop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amigoro ( 761348 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:23AM (#8677831) Homepage Journal
    [Mod me down as -1 flamebait. I don't care]

    To answer your question: One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    In July 1998 in Rome, 120 Member States of the United Nations adopted a treaty to establish - for the first time in the history of the world - a permanent international criminal court. [source UN [un.org]].

    And this is what the US had to say about it: "This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000. The United States requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary's status lists relating to this treaty."[source UN [un.org]]

    Thus the US has no intention of ever handing over any of its citizens to even an internationa court. However, the US department of justice (ha ha) has the audacity to try to extradite an Australian national under extra vires conditions.

    The US thinks it is the world policeman. But it is not willing to police itself. I am glad Australia finally stood up to the global bully. I hope Australians vote Howard out at the next elections and follow the example set by the brave people of Spain.

    Moderate this comment
    Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
    Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

    • by RMH101 ( 636144 )
      Interestingly, in the UK we can now be extradited on a whim by the US, thanks to laws signed in this year by the lovely David Blunkett.
    • by jobbegea ( 748685 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:43AM (#8677915) Homepage
      It is not difficult to imagine what the US would do, if the following act is used as an example:

      American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002'

      ...
      SEC. 2008. AUTHORITY TO FREE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AND CERTAIN OTHER PERSONS DETAINED OR IMPRISONED BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT.
      ...
      The President is authorized to use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any person described in subsection (b) who is being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court
      a.k.a 'The Hague Invasion Act'
    • As an American, I support Australia in this. I expect other countries to respect the sovereignty (and thus would be thoroughly pissed if the US government handed over a US citizen to *any* international "authority")--and insist that we respect the sovereignty of the other nations.

      However,

      Thus the US has no intention of ever handing over any of its citizens to even an internationa[l] court. (emphasis yours)

      I have to say that I'm glad of this. It gives me comfort to know that I'm not subject to the arbitr
      • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:28AM (#8678083) Homepage
        But I didn't elect the U.S. gouvernment. But I have to live with its rulings. The hungarian parliament explicitely forbid the use of hungarian airspace for the Iraq war. The U.S. ignored it. Technically the U.S. is at war with Hungary at the moment. Austria forbid the use of its airspace too, and U.S. didn't stop to ignore it until Austria said it would shot down the next american airplane entering its airspace. Austria has a paragraph in its constitution demanding neutrality in any war in which it wasn't attacked. The paragraph was put into the constitution after WW II on demand of the U.S.

        U.S. soldiers were commiting crimes in Hungary and Austria (entering the airspace with a bomb airplain is a crime in most countries). But there is no chance to ever prosecute those crimes. U.S. military personnel have effectively hindred the prosecution of other alleged crimes (killing 26 people in Italy by cutting the wires of an aerial ropeway, several alleged rapes committed by military personell in Japan). I know why the U.S. don't want those things to be prosecuted. It would shed a bad light on the military. But hindering prosecution sheds more bad light on the military. Because now everyone can accuse the U.S. military of any crime. Because it will never be revised by a court, there will also never be a clearance.

        120 countries have signed the treaty to install the International Court. It was meant to go after people who committed crimes during a war or while being in power and who didn't have to fear prosecution because of the situation in the countries they committed the crime. I don't see anything inherently bad about it. If you go abroad and do something wrong, you shall be subject to the local laws. If you know the laws will turn out bad for you, don't go there. This applies to everyone. Even if they are U.S. citizens.
  • On wonders (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:23AM (#8677834)
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried to invade it because it
    stockpiles weapons of mass destruction.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:32AM (#8677874)
    Reminds me of the Helms-Burton Act [wikipedia.org] where non-US citizens (like European or Canadian company CEO's) can be charged in the US for trading with Cuba.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:33AM (#8677877)
    This is clearly a plot by terrorists to undermine the western IT industry.

    We, the USA, must vigorously defend ourselves against this outrageous act of terrorism by sending our troops over to liberate the good people of Australia currently being held hostage by these cyber terrorists who are allegedly tied to the radical Al Quesa Dia sect of Muslims known for promising 72 tacos in heaven to their starving martyrs.

    What makes these terrorist particularly dangerous is that the good people of Australia don't yet realize they are being held hostage. But fear not, we will establish a truly fair and balanced news media led by Fox News to help educate their population.

    And in the unlikely event that we damage critical infrastructure, our highly experienced nation-building corporations such as Halliburton will send the most expensive engineers over to help rebuild the country--the cost which our patriotic and God-fearing middle class is more than happy to bear for the sake of freedom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:45AM (#8677924)
    How the fuck is John Howard (Australian Prime Minister) getting any credit for this? This was a court decision ... from a judge. Please don't give any credit to Mr Coward, we all know he would have bent over to the US in a hearbeat. Sheesh.
  • by shiburzi ( 765595 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:04AM (#8677996)
    http://www.defacto2.net/apollo-x/bandido.htm
    [biXen] : Have you ever been close to getting busted or anything like that ? Any incidents with members or something ? [BanDiDo] : I cannot be busted, I have no warez here... And it is not a crime to be in a group.
  • by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:13AM (#8678035) Journal
    Fucking asswipes made a deal with UK to allow them to extradite pretty much anyone they want without even going through a judge here! I don't know which government i hate more, the US for being such assholes, or my own government following them like a little puppy. Im not even going to start about camp X-ray.

    extract from statewatch [statewatch.org]
    On 31 March, David Blunkett, UK Home Secretary, signed an Extradition Treaty on behalf of the UK with his United States counterpart, Attorney General Tom Ashcroft, ostensibly bringing the US into line with procedures between European countries. The UK parliament was not consulted at all and the text was not public available until the end of May. The only justification given for the delay was "administrative reasons", though these did not hold-up scrutiny by the US senate, which began almost immediately.

    The UK-US Treaty has three main effects:

    - (1) it removes the requirement on the US to provide prima facie evidence when requesting the extradition of people from the UK but maintains the requirement on the UK to satisfy the "probable cause" requirement in the US when seeking the extradition of US nationals;

    - (2) it removes or restricts key protections currently open to suspects and defendants;

    - (3) it implements the EU-US Treaty on extradition, signed in Washington on 25 June 2003, but far exceeds the provisions in this agreement.


    Ofcourse it works the otherway around but i dont think we would have a chance in hell of extraditing an American - the treaty is very unfairly balanced.
  • by CrystalFalcon ( 233559 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:20AM (#8678056) Homepage
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    Not in the least. The US vehemently opposed the International Crime Court, and when it became clear that the court was becoming reality, the US fought to have citizens of the United States immune to prosecution there.

    So one need not wonder at all, a quick peek behind the shoulder reveals how the US government reacts to matters such as these when applied to them.
  • by MrIrwin ( 761231 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:24AM (#8678071) Journal
    1) The Australian DOJ did not prosecute.

    2) The US DOJ decided that he must therefore be extradited for prosecution in the US.

    This does not exclude that if a US citizen/company feels they have been nobbled by an australian they can none the less pursue thier case in the Australian courts and seek damages. Obviously they canot seek criminal charges on the basis of US laws.

    Do US citizens understand what Democracy actually means? As far as I can see many US citizens seem to think that Democracy means you agree with them.

  • Great news.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <gterich@aol. c o m> on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:31AM (#8678090) Journal
    This is awesome... It's about time someone gets a head on their shoulders. When the US can prosecute foreign nationals for doing something in a foreign country, that's the end of it... Say someone spits on the sidewalk in New Delhi? Well, it seems the US should have that person extradited to the US because it's against the law to spit on the sidewalk in the US.

    It is ridiculous for the US to think that it can extend its laws beyond its sovreign boundaries and apply them in OTHER sovreign states, to people who are neither IN the US or citizens thereof. It is clearly against just about every international law and treaty on the books (with a few notable exceptions, *cough* UK *cough*).

    When in Rome... right? I give the US about 10 years before the rest of the world gets sick of our shit and blows us off the face of the Earth with a massive trade war.. our economy is our most vulnerable weakness...
  • by SpaghettiPattern ( 609814 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:50AM (#8678155)
    I know of a hotel owner (owner, resort and country shall remain unnamed) with a reputation of being a prankster, that used to ask his American guests when leaving whether they had a stamp of the resort in their passports. Most of his guests answered with the innocent/naive "No, we didn't get one when we passed customs." Whereupon he kindly offered and actually succeeded in providing one. After a couple of months he received an official letter from the US embassy where he was asked to stop his actions otherwise they'd send in the US navy. What better statement of your whit would you like?

    Please I'd like to be modded down as insulting to the US of A.
  • predictable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:48AM (#8678344) Homepage Journal
    One wonders how the US government would react if a foreign nation tried a similar approach.

    Really? Isn't it trivially predictable how the US would have reacted?
    For all intents and purposes, the US behaves like the alpha male in a pack - namely as if the rules would not apply to them, only to others.

    Incidently, that is exactly what is usually meant when we say someone is arrogant.
  • Jesus Howard Christ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @08:42AM (#8678553) Homepage Journal
    What is the point of this story and 90% of the comments in it? As far as I can ascertain, lazy as I am, the story is something like this:

    - Australian guy breaks US law.
    - US asks Australia for extradition.
    - Australia tries the case in a court like any normal country would do.
    - Court says no.

    The whole point of the court system is to decide these things. So what if the US made a somewhat unreasonable request? They said no! It's not like they said, "Give him to us or we'll bomb your country."
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <anticypher@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday March 26, 2004 @09:39AM (#8678858) Homepage
    Anyone want to start a pool for how long before Hew ends up in U.S. custody?

    This guy is stupid enough to blatantly offer warez for years, so he will probably be stupid enough to accept a "free" offer to speak at a DefCon convention [slashdot.org] next year, or be interviewed for a perfect job [slashdot.org]. I'm betting he shows the world (or just /.) how stupid he really is and gets arrested at LAX within a year.

    It goes further than this, though. He'll have to stay out of any country where he might be extradited without a hearing, such as the UK, the Philippines, Japan, Canada or Mexico. He'll have to avoid all long distance air travel where his plane might have to divert to a country with a looser extradition agreement with the U.S., avoid flights with stopovers or even refeuling stops in U.S. friendly countries.

    Then again, with the Aussie PM currently doing a goatse and bending over for a right reaming of Australian sovreignity with U.S. trade and military control, it could just be a matter of time before Hew can be extradited without another hearing.

    Given that he is only free for as long as he never sets foot outside of NSW, its kind of a prison sentence right there :-)

    the AC
  • WTO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @11:15AM (#8679656) Homepage Journal
    All that has to be done is make a phone call to the WTO and complain.

    Remember all members must submit to a 'lowest common denominator', and give up their own independent sovereignty.

    Since this technically effects 'international commercial trade' it would fall under their jurisdiction.

    Though personally, I say Go Australia for standing up for what is right. Laws are different in different countries, that's just the way it goes.

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken

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