Hacker McKinnon's mother up for human rights award

UFO hacker Gary McKinnon's mother has made the shortlist for a human rights award in recognition of her decade-long fight to prevent her son from being extradited to the US.

Janis Sharp, 62, told her local newspaper the Welwyn Hatfield Times: "I just think it's incredible and it's an honour.

"This will help me highlight Gary's case and it will help me highlight the extradition treaty, which means that anyone can be sent away without evidence.

"And the fact that it's Liberty and human rights is great."

McKinnon, 45, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, is wanted in the United States for hacking into US Defense department and NASA computer systems in search of evidence of UFOs, between February 2001 and March 2002.

His case was dealt a major blow last when, when a judicial review of the 2003 extradition treaty between the US and Britain found it to be fair - removing a crucial obstacle to the hacker's extradition after US president Barack Obama said in May that he would "respect" British legal process regarding the case.

Former Court of Appeal judge Sir Scott Baker said that the treaty "does not operate in an unbalanced manner".

The winners of Liberty's annual human rights awards will be announced next month.