May 20 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon may not learn until mid-October whether he will be extradited to the US for trial, as Home Secretary Theresa May is tied up with the Olympics.
Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, has refused to undergo further medical tests by a Home Office-appointed expert to ascertain whether extradition would pose a serious risk of him attempting suicide.
The 46-year-old, who suffers from Asperger syndrome, admits hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computer systems between February 2001 and March 2002 from his girlfriend’s flat in Crouch End, but claims he was only looking for evidence of UFOs. He faces up to 60 years in an American jail if convicted.
The case returned to the High Court last week and again on Tuesday, when Hugo Keith QC, for Mrs May, told Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, and Mr Justice Globe that the Home Secretary proposed to give her decision “on or around October 16” while Parliament is sitting.
Mr Keith said one of the reasons was the Home Secretary’s “all-consuming” involvement in the Olympic Games - the biggest peacetime operation since the Second World War.
Last week Mr McKinnon’s legal team refused to allow the Home Secretary to arrange for another medical examination, his mother Janis Sharp pointing out Mrs May already had access to reports on Mr McKinnon from six medical experts, including one appointed by her and another by her department.
Mrs Sharp said outside court: “If Theresa May has got an ounce of compassion she would make her decision now before the Olympics because she has any number of medical reports - these delays are destroying my son’s life.”
She added: “The evidence is there that Gary is unfit for trial and a considerable suicide risk. We need this decision. This delay is wrong - morally wrong.”
Mr McKinnon would have one final route of appeal left if Mrs May orders his extradtion - a request for a judicial review, which could occur in November.