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16 October 2012, 16:54

Gary McKinnon not to be extradited to the US

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Zoom Gary McKinnon with his mother Janis Sharp at a press conference in January

Source: Free Gary McKinnon

Home secretary Theresa May has announced that London computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US. "Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes. But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill", May said. According to the Home Secretary, McKinnon suffers from Asperger's syndrome and an extradition would present a significant suicide risk.

McKinnon was originally arrested for repeatedly hacking several US institutions such as NASA, several US military branches and the Department of Defense in 2001 and 2002. McKinnon had admitted the hacks and said he was looking for information on UFO conspiracies. After the House of Lords had turned down his appeal against the extradition, McKinnon began to pursue further appeals at the European Court of Human Rights in 2008 but that appeal was rejected.

In 2009, he applied for a judicial review from the High Court; this was granted, but he lost. He gained a further judicial review of Home Secretary Alan Johnson's decision to allow him to be extradited in 2010; that decision was subsequently suspended by the new Home Secretary, May, while she reviewed the evidence, leading eventually to today's decision. The government is now deciding whether to open proceedings against McKinnon in the UK.

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