Skip to main content

UK Government Calls Halt to McKinnon Extradition

The extradition of British hacker Gary McKinnon to the US has been put on hold by the UK's coalition government.

McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is wanted by the US government for hacking into key NASA and US military computers while looking for information on extra-terrestrial life.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered the adjournment of next week's High Court hearing to consider if the Human Rights Act protects McKinnon from extradition. Instead, she plans to have him medically examined, to see if he is capable of surviving an extradition or not.

Gary McKinnon's defence team is relying on Human Rights legislation to protect him from extradition, quoting medical experts' claims that removing a person with Asperger's from their home and subjecting them to a foreign trial and possible jail term might lead to suicide.

Speaking to The Guardian, Karen Todner, McKinnon's lawyer said (opens in new tab): “The secretary of state, having recently taken office and having received further representations from the claimant's representatives, wishes to have appropriate time fully to consider the issues in the case.”

She also praised the new home secretary for being "caring and compassionate".