Gary McKinnon extradition blocked by UK government

British hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, following a decision by Home Secretary Theresa May on human rights grounds.

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who allegedly broke into NASA's computers, will not be extradited to the US, ending his 10-year fight against the process.

Home Secretary Theresa May blocked the extradition on human rights grounds, saying she has "carefully examined the medical evidence" and concluded that his extradition would "give a high risk that he would end his life", the BBC reports.

Whether McKinnon will now face trial for the crime here in the UK will be determined by the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer.

McKinnon admits accessing US computers in 2002 and leaving mocking messages. He claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs -- the US government said he caused $700,000 of damage.

"We've never said Gary shouldn't be tried -- try Gary here," his mother Janis Sharp told the BBC. "Extradition was meant if you had committed a heinous crime and fled, it wasn't meant for this kind of thing."

McKinnon has Asperger's Syndrome and fought extradition on the grounds that being imprisoned in the US, even for the duration of a trial, would be a serious risk to his health and wellbeing, specifically suicide. If found guilty, McKinnon could have faced up to 60 years in a US prison.

The government will now change extradition law, which McKinnon's supporters said was one-sided and unfair, to include a 'forum bar' to give courts the power to decide whether the accused should stand trial in Britain or be sent abroad, according to The Guardian.

Image credit: ZDNet

 

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