In what does come across as a major respite for Gary McKinnon who was facing extradition to US over charges of hacking, the Home Secretary Alan Johnson has halted the extradition proceedings on health grounds.
It is important to note that Mr McKinnon has been accused by authorities in US of hacking into computers of US Department of Defence and the Pentagon and he could face a jail term of up to 60 years if convicted in US courts.
Explaining the rationale behind his decision to halt the extradition proceedings, Mr Johnson mentioned that the decision was based on health of Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and said, "I have to ensure that his Article 3 human rights are being respected. It's this new medical evidence that I will be looking at very carefully."
Incidentally Mr McKinnon’s appeal against his extradition has been dismissed by the High Court while his appeal to the Supreme Court has been denied.
The decision from Mr Johnson is surely going to bring some hope to supporters of Gary McKinnon which have included amongst others several prominent human rights groups apart from his mother Janis Sharp who has campaigned tirelessly to prevent his extradition.