May 25 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Monday, July 9, 2012
A decision on whether to order the extradition of a Wood Green computer hacker so he can be tried in the United States could now depend on him submitting to a psychiatric examination, the High Court heard.
Gary McKinnon, who admits hacking into American military computers from his girlfriend’s flat in Crouch End, is nearing the end of a 10-year legal battle against being extradited to the US, where he faces up to 60 years in jail if convicted.
Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, says he hacked into Pentagon and Nasa computers between February 2001 and March 2002 looking for evidence of UFOs.
Last Thursday the High Court heard home secretary Theresa May was “close” to making a decision on whether to hand the 46-year-old over to the US authorities, despite claims by medical experts acting on his behalf that he would be a suicide risk if extradited.
But Mrs May was “personally concerned” that government medical experts had so far not been permitted access to him to help her decide whether he would be a high suicide risk, the court heard.
Assessing the level of risk will be crucial to Mrs May’s decision on whether to allow his extradition.
Hugo Keith QC, appearing for the Home Secretary, said the case had important implications for Britain’s extradition laws.
Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp has called for her son to stand trial in Britain and says attempts to remove him have “destroyed” his life. High Court judges adjourned the case until July 24.