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Gary McKinnon extradition moves step closer

PUBLISHED: 12:39 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 September 2010

The controversial extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon moved a step closer today after his appeal to the country s highest court was rejected. A shocked Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, was refused a hearing in front of the Suprem

The controversial extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon moved a step closer today after his appeal to the country's highest court was rejected.

A shocked Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, was refused a hearing in front of the Supreme Court by Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie.

He now has just 14 days to appeal to directly to the European Court of Human Rights to avoid being sent to the US where he faces charges of hacking into the country's security systems and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Reacting to the decision Janis Sharp, Mr McKinnon's mother said: "No other country in the world would so readily offer its citizens to the US as sacrificial lambs merely to safeguard a 'special political relationship'. To use my desperately vulnerable son in this way is despicable, immoral and devoid of humanity.

"Gordon Brown and Alan Johnson should hang their heads in shame - the judges are only interpreting the law before them, but this Government made the abhorrent law that brought about this situation. They could redeem themselves by taking a brave and principled stand by intervening now before it's too late."

The decision was all the more baffling for Mr McKinnon's family because fellow US extradition target Ian Norris has had his right to a Supreme Court hearing accepted.

Mr Norris, a former CEO of Morgan Crucible, is fight extradition on the grounds it is a contravention to his right to a family and private under European law - the same point of law as former Crouch End resident Mr McKinnon.

Mr McKinnon's legal team were hoping to join forces with Mr Norris and have their hearings heard together until the law lords scuppered those plans.

Mrs Sharp is now warning of the grave consequences for the health of her son, who has been on suicide watch at various times during his ordeal.

She said: "What Gary did was wrong, borne of his compulsive and obsessive behaviour. But it does not justify Gary's extradition which would be a cruel and excessive punishment, particularly given his Aspergers. I've fought for five years to protect my son and I am not about to give up now. I will stop this if it's the last thing I do. I will not stand by and watch Gary be destroyed, nor others like him who desperately need support, not injustice."

Sting's wife Trudie Styler, a long term supporter of Mr McKinnon added: "I implore this Government to show compassion and understanding towards Gary - a harmless, misguided and vulnerable man. Now is time to put an end to his mental anguish and work with the US administration to prosecute him in this country. Anything less would be a dereliction of their duties.

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