Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced in the House of Commons that Gary McKinnon, the hacker accused for breaking into Pentagon’s computer network, will get extra time to appeal to the courts for a judicial review of his extradition to the US.
During a debate in the House of Commons, Johnson stressed that the government will not begin the extradition process until McKinnon’s lawyers have tried every possible legal avenue to appeal against the extradition. However, he maintained that he was powerless to stop the extradition. He also added that the concerned US authorities have assured him that McKinnon’s medical requirements will be taken care of.
Gary McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. In an interview to the BBC, his mother, Janis Sharp, had said that her son will surely commit suicide if he was extradited to US.
Gary McKinnon’s supporters, which range from musicians to politicians, have claimed that the US government was clearly abusing the anti-terrorism treaty, which includes extradition requests, by asking for McKinnon’s custody. The Home Secretary has been severely criticised by McKinnon’s supporters for maintaining his stand that he was powerless to stop his extradition.
The Tory MP supporting the hacker, David Burrowes said that the Home Secretary and his government were ‘spineless’ for not stopping his extradition even though McKinnon’s medical condition has come to light.