11th hour lifeline for computer hacker
PUBLISHED: 11:07 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 September 2010
By Robyn Rosen COMPUTER hacker and former Crouch End resident Gary McKinnon has been given an 11th hour lifeline just days before a final decision on his extradition is made. Mr McKinnon, 42 and a former Highgate Wood pupil, is currently awaiting extradition aft
By Robyn Rosen
COMPUTER hacker and former Crouch End resident Gary McKinnon has been given an 11th hour just days before a final decision on his extradition is made.
Mr McKinnon, 42 and a former Highgate Wood pupil, is currently awaiting extradition after being accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage when he allegedly hacked into US security systems from his Hillfield Avenue home in 2002.
His lawyers received a letter from the director of public prosecutions (DPP) yesterday stating it would take up to four weeks to deliberate over Mr McKinnon's signed confession.
Last month, Mr McKinnon, who faces up to 60 years in an American prison, signed a formal confession pleading guilty to computer misuse, in an attempt to have him tried in this country.
On Tuesday (January 20), he faces an oral application for a judicial review at the High Court, where his lawyers now plan to delay the extradition until after the DPP has come to a decision.
"If that fails, we really have come to the end of the line," Mr McKinnon's solicitor, Karen Todner, said. "Gary would then be extradited within the next 10 days."
Meanwhile, the leading authority on autism has defended Mr McKinnon in a plea to prevent his extradition.
At a special press conference on Thursday, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who diagnosed Mr McKinnon with Asperger's syndrome in August, pledged his support to the UFO enthusiast.
"We should be thinking of this as the activity of someone with a disability, not a criminal activity," he said. "There are questions as to whether he should be imprisoned at all. Someone was Asperger's would find it very difficult to deal with it.
"He believed that what he was doing was right.