Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who has been fighting a high profile campaign for ten years to avoid extradition to the United States, has had his extradition blocked by the UK government.
Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, told MPs at the House of Commons that the extradition would be blocked for human rights reasons, as there are concerns that 46-year-old McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, would commit suicide if sent for trial in America.
Here’s part of what Theresa May told the House of Commons:
Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes. But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill. He has Asperger's Syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness. The legal question before me is now whether the extent of that illness is sufficient to preclude extradition.
After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights.
I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr McKinnon.
46-year-old McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, has admitted hacking into United States military systems in late 2001 – but claims that he was hunting for evidence of UFOs, anti-gravity propulsion systems and extraterrestial technology.
The UK authorities will now decide if McKinnon should face charges in Britain.
What do you think about the case of Gary McKinnon? Leave a comment below.
Here are some of the past stories we have written about this fascinating case:
- Should having autism be a legal defence to hacking charges?
- Obama: Gary McKinnon’s fate is in the hands of the British legal system
- Cameron: Decision on Gary McKinnon will be ‘weeks rather than months’
- Nick Clegg appears to backtrack over intervention in Gary McKinnon case
- British Home Secretary reconsiders extradition of Gary McKinnon
- Hacker’s mother stands against Jack Straw in UK election
- Hacker Gary McKinnon may not be extradited to USA after all
- Bad news for NASA hacker Gary McKinnon – extradition seems imminent
- UK Home Secretary “stops clock” on NASA hacker’s extradition
- NASA hacker’s extradition to USA delayed by British Home Office
- Hacker Gary McKinnon fails to have his case heard in front of UK Supreme Court
- Video: Gary McKinnon’s supporters to lodge an appeal
- A bad day for NASA hacker Gary McKinnon
- Countdown for Gary McKinnon extradition judgement
- MP resigns over Gary McKinnon hacker case
- Date set for next chapter in Gary McKinnon case
- National Autistic Society petition Downing Street over NASA hacker extradition
- Julie Christie supports NASA hacker Gary McKinnon
- Terry Waite calls on USA to drop case against NASA hacker
- Sting supports NASA hacker Gary McKinnon
- Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, supports NASA hacker
- High Court to review NASA hacker’s extradition order
- NASA hacker Gary McKinnon given a lifeline.. for now
- Live Aid concert for NASA hacker?
- The difference between Victor Faur and Gary McKinnon
- NASA hacker’s Asperger’s gambit fails to convince UK authorities
- NASA hacker Gary McKinnon loses final extradition appeal
- Last chance saloon for NASA hacker
- NASA hacker Gary McKinnon loses appeal against US extradition
- IT world split on whether Gary McKinnon should be extradited
- House of Lords to rule on appeal of “NASA hacker” Gary McKinnon