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MPs Request Clemency For Suspected Hacker Gary McKinnon

Since the issue of Gary McKinnon’s extradition has been under the media spotlight these days, a high-profile committee of MPs have also come forward to lend a supporting hand to the campaigners calling for halting the self-confessed hacker’s extradition to the US for trial.

The Home Affairs Committee has echoed the campaigners’ call for stopping the hacker from being extradited to the US in the wake of his “precarious state of mental health”.

Along the same line, the chair of the Committee, Keith Vaz, has sent a letter to the Home Secretary Alan Johnson on Thursday asking him to prevent the extradition of the hacker.

In the letter, Vaz wrote: “Because of Mr McKinnon's precarious state of mental health, the Committee is of the view that he should not be extradited to the USA and that you should exercise your discretion in this case”.

In addition, the Committee further pointed towards the lopsidedness of the UK-US extradition treaty, and hence asked Johnson to review it to recommend the essential changes in it to make it more balanced.

But, the Home Office responded to the concern by mentioning that the extradition arrangement between the two countries was properly balanced and it didn’t need any sort of review at all.

Debunking the Home Office claims over the balanced nature of the treaty between the two nations, Vaz wrote: “The Committee remains concerned that there is a serious lack of equality in the way the Treaty's provisions apply to UK, as opposed to [US], citizens”.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.