McKinnon's Extradition to the US Over Hacking Has Finally Been Blocked

By Sam Gibbs on at

Theresa May, Home Secretary, has announced that she's going to block America's attempts to extradite the British hacker, Gary McKinnon, over charges of hacking into US military computers 10 years ago, in what was called the "biggest military computer hack of all time".

This is the first time extradition to the US has been blocked like this, after a recent series of businessmen all got sent to the US for various trials. May said that her block was based on the grounds of McKinnon's mental health and human rights, who's said to have Asperger's syndrome, and would face 60 years in a US slammer, if convicted:

"After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would rise to such a high risk of him ending his life, that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights. I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr McKinnon."

That doesn't mean McKinnon is totally out of the woods yet, though, as there's still the possibility he'll face a trial over his actions in the UK, but at least he'll be on British soil. It'll be interesting to see what impact this has on the recent raft of extraditions -- May also said there'll be further measures taken to allow a UK court to decide whether anyone should stand trial in the UK or abroad, which should speed things up a bit. The McKinnon case certainly has been a long, drawn-out affair -- 10 years fighting to stay in this country. It's not like he was Abu Hamza or anything. [BBC]

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