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Computer hacker loses latest extradition fight

PUBLISHED: 15:45 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 07 September 2010

COMPUTER hacker and former Crouch End resident, Gary McKinnon has lost another step to prevent his extradition. Mr McKinnon, 43 and a former Highgate Wood pupil, is currently awaiting extradition after being accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage wh

COMPUTER hacker and former Crouch End resident, Gary McKinnon has lost another step to prevent his extradition.

Mr McKinnon, 43 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.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that it will not prosecute Mr McKinnon in the UK, a process he had hoped would prevent his extradition.

Alison Saunders, head of the CPS organised crime division said: "We identified nine occasions where Mr McKinnon has admitted to activity which would amount to an offence under Section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act (unauthorised access with intent).

"Although there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr McKinnon for these offences, the evidence we have does not come near to reflecting the criminality that is alleged by the American authorities.

"These were not random experiments in computer hacking, but a deliberate effort to breach US defence systems at a critical time which caused well documented damage.

"They may have been conducted from Mr McKinnon's home computer - and in that sense there is a UK link - but the target and the damage were transatlantic."

Mr McKinnon's lawyer, Karen Todner, said that the decision was "disappointing".

However, in March, he will be given the chance to dispute the Home Secretary's decision with a judicial review.

Ms Todner added: "Mr McKinnon will still remain in the United Kingdom as the judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State remain outstanding and we are hopeful those proceedings will be successful.


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