Gary McKinnon has won his 10 year long fight to avoid extradition to the USA where he could have faced up to 60 years in prison. Mr McKinnon was arrested for hacking into US government and military computers in 2002 where he said he was searching for evidence of UFOs. He was accused by the US prosecutors of undertaking “the biggest military computer hack of all time”.
While the crimes Gary McKinnon is accused of are serious, he similarly has a serious medical condition; “He has Asperger's syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness,” the Home Secretary, Theresa May explained. She announced this afternoon that “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.” Now it is to be decided whether Mr McKinnon should face a trial in the UK.
In an interview with the BBC, a former White House legal advisor, David Rivkin, called the decision by Mrs May “laughable” and said that anyone could claim they might commit suicide and therefore escape prosecution and imprisonment. Further to this the US Attorney’s Office may ask Interpol to issue a red notice so that if Mr McKinnon visits another country he could be arrested by that country’s police force.
UK protecting McKinnon is “old fashioned racism”
A couple of weeks ago Babar Ahmad was extradited alongside Abu Hamza to face US courts over terrorism charges. ITV News has reported that Mr Ahmad’s family have called Mrs May’s decision on Mr McKinnon “a clear demonstration of double standards” as Mr Ahmad also has Asperger’s syndrome and is under investigation for “computer related activity”.
Are you happy that Gary McKinnon has escaped extradition?