Gary McKinnon gets right to appeal against US extradition

Pentagon Hacker and UFO believer Gary McKinnon has won the right to appeal against its extradition to the US.

He gained his reprieve after his case was debated in Britain's highest court and a three-judge panel decided for him.

In 2001 and 2002, McKinnon, hacked into 97 computers owned by the US Army and Nasa at an estimated cost of USD 700,000.

A 2000-computer network has had to be shut and secured after the virtual break-in occurred.

McKinnon faces up to 70 years in prison if found guilty and could be sent to Guantanamo Bay.

In an interview to BBC's Click last year, he claimed that that most of the computers he tried to access did not have any password and that he did not actively tried to break in.

McKinnon's case will be heard early 2008 by the House of Lords and could set a precedent in the way cyber-criminals are treated by international law.