A cross-party team of MPs has demanded Home Secretary Alan Johnson to step in and halt hacker Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the US.
A group of three MPs - namely the former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, the former Labour minister Michael Meacher, and the Liberal Democrat spokesman for home affairs Chris Huhne - met Mr Alan Johnson to voice against McKinnon’s extradition to the US.
However, after a 30-minute long meeting with the Home Secretary, the MPs appeared “disappointed”, as they were reportedly failed to convince Mr Johnson to prevent the Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer from being extradited.
Ther are claims that the MPs used human rights concerns to persuade the Home Secretary to play a prominent role in blocking McKinnon’s extradition to the US. He faces prison term for up to 60 years for breaking into the NASA systems in 2001.
Although several senior lawyers claimed that the Home Secretary could prevent the extradition, Mr Johnson emphasises it is beyond his set of powers to act in this case.
Meacher said: “Not only has the home secretary got the power but he has the duty to intervene in an extradition case, even after the court process has ended, if there is a real risk of a human rights breach should extradition proceed”.
The MPs further mentioned that they will now approach the new US ambassador to the UK to support the campaign to trial the self-confessed hacker in the UK.
The Gary McKinnon case has been going on for ages now and it looks as if the special relationship US and UK enjoyed for so long has been useful to one party more than the other. The recent case of the Libyan bomber being flown back to his home country from Scotland showed the rifts that exists between the UK and the US. Yet Alan Johnson is adamant that he cannot do anything to prevent the extradition of McKinnon.