Law Report: Computer offences could be extradition crimes

Re Allison; Regina v Bow Street Magistrates' Court, ex parte Allison; Queen's Bench Divisional Court (Lord Justice Kennedy and Mr Justice Blofeld) 13 May 1998

IN THE CASE of a request for extradition made by the Government of the United States, offences contrary to sections 2 and 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 were extradition crimes.

The Divisional Court dismissed applications for habeas corpus by Adeniyi Allison, and for judicial review by the US government and the Director of Public Prosecutions, both applications having been made in connection with extradition proceedings.

The applicant had been arrested at the request of the US government pursuant to a provisional warrant in respect of three offences of conspiracy which also involved a woman named Joan Ojomo, a credit analyst employed by American Express at their office in Plantation, Florida.

The magistrate decided to commit the applicant only on the third of those offences.

The US government and the Director of Public Prosecutions sought judicial review of the magistrate's decision not to commit on the first two offences, and the applicant, by proceedings for habeas corpus, sought to set aside the committal on the third offence, and another committal on unrelated offences connected with the State of Maryland.

Clare Montgomery QC and Helen Malcolm (Burton Copeland) for the applicant; James Lewis (Crown Prosecution Service) for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the US government.

Lord Justice Kennedy said that the case for the US government was that Joan Ojomo, as a credit card analyst, was authorised to access computer records and had supplied account information to her co-conspirators which had enabled them to obtain a personal identification number from American Express, encode a credit card, and draw large sums of money from automatic teller machines.

The applicant contended, inter alia, that the three Florida offences alleged contraventions of ss 2 and 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, and that in the case of a request for extradition made by the US government such contraventions were not extradition crimes.

Section 1(3) of the Extradition Act 1989 made clear that where an Order in Council under section 2 of the Extradition Act 1870 was in force in relation to a foreign state, which was agreed to be the position in relation to the United States, schedule 1 to the 1989 Act should have effect in relation to that State "subject to the limitations, restrictions, conditions, exceptions and qualifications, if any, contained in the Order".

Having regard to the wording of the 1989 Act it was only necessary, to determine whether offences contrary to sections 2 and 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 were extradition crimes, to look at schedule 1 to the Act 1989 and the relevant Order in Council, i.e. the United States of America (Extradition) Order 1976, which gave effect to the 1972 bilateral Extradition Treaty. Article 3(1) of the Treaty provided:

Extradition shall be granted for an act or omission the facts of which disclose an offence within any of the descriptions listed in the schedule annexed to this Treaty . . . or any other offence . . .

The schedule did not contain any express reference to offences contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990, but there was an amendment in section 15 of the 1990 Act which extended the Order to include any offences under sections 2 or 3 or any conspiracies to commit such offences. Although the 1990 Act could not amend the 1972 Treaty, it made use of the Treaty's reference to "any other offence" to extend the provisions of the Order.

The magistrate had, however, correctly concluded that, since Joan Ojomo was entitled to control access to data of the kind in question, notwithstanding the fact that she had misused the information she had obtained, her access to it was not "unauthorised access" as defined by section 17(5) of the 1990 Act, and the applicant could not be guilty of the first two offences .

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star