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Home Secretary turns her back on computer hacker

PUBLISHED: 13:03 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 07 September 2010

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has been told he will get no help from the Home Secretary to prevent his extradition to the United States. The former Highgate Wood School pupil, 42, has been accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage by hacking into US com

COMPUTER hacker Gary McKinnon has been told he will get no help from the Home Secretary to prevent his extradition to the United States.

The former Highgate Wood School pupil, 42, has been accused of causing $700,000 worth of damage by hacking into US computer systems

Last month his mother Janis Sharp handed a letter to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith asking for help, especially as he has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome which could put his life in danger in a high-security American jail like Guantanamo Bay.

But on Monday the family's legal team was informed the Home Office would be making arrangements for his extradition.

Mr McKinnon's solicitor Karen Todner said: "The Secretary of State has advised via the Treasury Solicitors, that despite Mr McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's she will now be making arrangements for his extradition.

"She has failed to make any request for repatriation to the UK when other countries make similar requests on behalf of their citizens.

"We are now considering whether or not Mr McKinnon has a further judicial remedy and we are urgently investigating this issue."

On Tuesday Ms Todner was given 72 hours to lodge her application for a judicial review.

In August Mr McKinnon, who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome just days before his trial, lost his appeal and has since been awaiting his extradition date ever since.

Since the trial, hundreds of supporters have joined rallies including one organised by the London Autistic Rights Movement, calling for Jacqui Smith to intervene and stop the extradition to America where Mr McKinnon would be treated as a terror suspect.

The hacking is alleged to have taken place in Mr McKinnon's Crouch End home in 2002. He admitted looking at some of America's most sensitive information, but said he was conducting research into UFOs.

* Read more in this week's Ham&High

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