In what comes across as a major relief to Gary McKinnon, the hacker accused by US authorities of breaking into computers of US Department of Defense and the Pentagon, his extradition to the US has been put on hold by the Home Secretary for the study of further evidence.
Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary of UK has decided to delay the extradition of Gary McKinnon for studying further evidence regarding his medical condition.
It is important to note that Mr. McKinnon has been suffering from Asperger's disease which his defendant’s claims make him unsuitable for facing a regular trial in US.
Moreover Mr. McKinnon had also previously received some support from various rights groups which had claimed that the charges labeled against him were disproportionate to the offence he had committed and the possible 60-year jail term he faces in US is way too harsh.
But McKinnon’s arguments have been repeatedly been set aside by courts in UK with the High Court on October 9th denying him the chance to plead his case before the newly-formed Supreme Court.
With the Home Secretary taking interest in the matter, supporters of Mr. McKinnon hope that his extradition may still be avoided.
This is a surprising twist in this saga and one which we welcome wholeheartedly. We've been covering the whole episode for the past few years and it would be great if the Obama administration and/or the British government could do a positive gesture out of goodwill.