Quashing a last-ditch attempt to save the self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon from being extradited to the US, the Home Secretary has said he is not going to interfere in the case.
Alan Johnson, the UK Home Secretary, had frozen the hopes to save the hacker when he announced that he wouldn’t intervene to halt the extradition proceedings on medical grounds.
In a letter, the Home Secretary ordered McKinnon’s extradition to the US on accusations of infiltrating the security of US military systems in the year 2002, in spite of claims from his lawyers that the extradition could even prompt the hacker to commit suicide.
Expressing his “no general discretion” to interfere in the case, the letter said: "The secretary of state is of the firm view that McKinnon's extradition would not be incompatible with his [human] rights. His extradition to the United States must proceed forthwith."
The letter further dismissed the new medical evidence that McKinnon’s medical condition had grown worse significantly since losing his appeal in the High Court back in July, and intended that the extradition would threaten his right to life.
The order, which was denoted by lawyers as “callous”, has triggered a new wave of concerns about the hacker’s well-being.
Janis Sharp, McKinnon’s mother, was deeply disturbed by the decision and she expressed her grief by saying, "This government is terrified of speaking up to America, and now they are allowing vulnerable people to be pursued for non-violent crime when they should be going after terrorists".
There's a pinch of irony that McKinnon's final call for extradition is being made at the time when there is an inquiry into how the United Kingdom got onboard a war - the Iraq war - that was never ours. Should McKinnon ever attempt to commit suicide, he will be yet another casualty on the mind of the current government.