Pentagon hacker wins backing of MEP in US extradition fight
PUBLISHED: 12:45 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:18 07 September 2010
HACKER Gary McKinnon goes to the European courts in two weeks in his bid to avoid US extradition, and has received the backing of an MEP. The former Highgate Wood schoolboy, 42, of Hillfield Avenue in Crouch End, allegedly caused $700,000 of damage when h
HACKER Gary McKinnon goes to the European courts in two weeks in his bid to avoid US extradition, and has received the backing of an MEP.
The former Highgate Wood schoolboy, 42, of Hillfield Avenue in Crouch End, allegedly caused $700,000 of damage when he hacked into Nasa and naval networks from his home in 2002.
He lost an appeal against extradition at the House of Lords last month and is now going before the Grand Council of Europe on August 28 - his last chance to appeal.
This week London MEP and member of the justice committee Claude Moraes said he fully supports the campaign to have Mr McKinnon tried in the UK instead.
"I feel very strongly about it all," he said. "The reason I am angry is because I would not trust the US authorities to carry out a fair trial. US officials have said they are going to fry him. If you are extraditing someone, you don't say those things.
"The European Court should look at the disproportionality and administrative interference of US authorities, victimisation, and the fact that they are using him as an example."
Mr McKinnon admits he hacked into US computer systems but claims he was only looking for evidence of UFOs. If tried in America, he would be treated as a terrorism suspect and faces up to 60 years in jail - possibly in Guantanamo Bay.
His mother Janis Sharp, 59, also spoke this week of her fears: "I don't know if writing to the European Court of Human Rights will help but we can only hope. Our own government has already thrown Gary to the dogs, so it's the only hope we have.
"I'm petrified of him going to a US jail. I fear he will end up dying there."
Anyone can write in support of Mr McKinnon to the Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg-Cedex, France or email email@example.com.
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