NASA hacker judicial review date set

A high court judicial review of Gary McKinnon's case will be held in early summer.

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon ZDNet UK

A date has been set for a High Court judicial review of NASA hacker Gary McKinnon's case.

The review, set for June 9 and 10, will focus on whether McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome was taken into account during his appeals process.

McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, told ZDNet UK about the judicial review date via an e-mail on Friday. Sharp said she had felt "broken" and "beaten up" by a Crown Prosecution Service decision on Thursday not to prosecute McKinnon in the U.K. , but that she was now "getting back in fighting mode."

McKinnon has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of "the biggest military hack of all time." The U.S. authorities allege that McKinnon caused $700,000 worth of damage, and disabled systems and military equipment, by hacking into U.S. military computers at the Pentagon, at NASA, and at U.S. military installations in 2001. McKinnon has never denied hacking U.S. systems, but denies causing damage. He claims to have been searching for UFOs.

McKinnon faces up to 70 years in a maximum security prison if found guilty by a U.S. court. He is currently 43 years old.

McKinnon's solicitor, Karen Todner, told ZDNet UK on Friday that she hoped the High Court review would prevent McKinnon's extradition.

"We're hoping the court will say that Gary's Asperger's will prevent his extradition, as to extradite him would be a breach of his human rights," said Todner.

The review will include an appraisal of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's decision not to halt McKinnon's extradition to the U.S. in September. Smith was aware of McKinnon's Asperger's when she turned down the autumn appeal against McKinnon's extradition.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

 

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