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 .

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit