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Monday, October 29, 2012

UK Hacker Extradition Blocked

UK’s Home Secretary has finally announced that Gary McKinnon won’t be extradited to the United States to face charges for hacking into their military system. Speaking at the House of Commons, Theresa May announced that the hacker should stay in the United Kingdom to face charges for hacking the US computers more than a decade ago.

Janis Sharp, Gary’s mother, has been trying to argue for the last 10 years that her son, Asperger’s sufferer, would be at a very high risk of him ending his life in case of extradition. Theresa May has heard her words and said that after careful consideration she had come to a conclusion that extradition could have really caused such a high risk of suicide that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights. As a result, Home Secretary has withdrawn the extradition order against Gary McKinnon.

Theresa May has referred to McKinnon’s case as exceptional, explaining that since she had come into office the sole issue to make a decision on was whether the hacker’s extradition to the US would violate his human rights. She told MPs that although McKinnon was accused of serious crimes, it should also be taken into consideration that he was seriously ill with Asperger's syndrome.

The hacker spent 10 years waiting to know his fate. The media reports were saying that he could face up to sixty years in prison. His mother said that she was really overwhelmed at the May’s decision, and was very grateful to the Home Secretary for standing up to the US.

Janis Sharp was leading a campaign to halt the extradition of Gary over the past few years. She has gone as far as to appeal directly to the Prime Minister. In the meantime, MPs also joined in the debate to discuss a one-sided extradition treaty between the two countries.

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