Gary McKinnon’s extradition stalled by the Home Secretary after a long drawn battle

by duncan12 on October 19, 2012

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The extradition of Gary McKinnon was blocked by the Home Secretary Theresa May bringing cheers to the family and human right campaigners who were opposed to the extradition of Mr McKinnon to the US.

The mother of McKinnon Janis Sharp said that she was overwhelmed after a long drawn battle against her son’s extradition who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. She said that Mrs May had been incredibly brave to stand up to the US.

Mr McKinnon, 46, admits accessing US government computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The US said it was “disappointed” with Mrs. May’s decision but Rebekah Carmichael of the US Department of Justice said they noted that the home secretary had described this as an exceptional case and that this case would be looked in isolation and the US hopes that it would not set a precedent for future cases.

She added that at the same time, theUSwas pleased that the home secretary has accepted the finding of Sir Scott Baker’s independent panel that the US-UK extradition treaty was there to bring benefit to both countries.

TheUnited Stateswas in full agreement with the report’s conclusion that the treaty was fair and balanced.

Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, northLondon, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, could have been jailed for 60 years if convicted in theUS.

But Mrs. May said Mr McKinnon was “seriously ill” and his was a “difficult and exceptional case” and there was a real risk of him attempting suicide if he was sent to theUS.

Ms Sharp said her son could not speak when he first heard of the decision but then he cried and hugged her. He felt like a dead person with no job or holiday he felt worthless.

McKinnon’s criminal law solicitor and barrister said that Mrs. May had been brave.

Mr McKinnon’s bail conditions, imposed since 2005, have now been lifted, meaning he can once again use a computer and also access the internet.

Earlier Mrs. May had told the House of Commons that it was now for the Director of Public Prosecutions to decided if Mr McKinnon should face trial in the UK.

She added that the sole question for her had been whether Mr McKinnon’s extradition to the USwould be in breach of his human rights.

There was no doubt he had Asperger’s syndrome and suffered from depressive illness, and that there was a risk of suicide if he was extradited.

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