26 Nov 2009

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon to be extradited to US

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon is at serious risk of suicide, relatives said today, after the home secretary rejected a last-ditch attempt to prevent his extradition to the US.

In a letter today Alan Johnson ordered McKinnon's removal to the US on charges of breaching US military and Nasa computers, despite claims by his lawyers that extradition would make the 43-year old's death "virtually certain".


"The secretary of state is of the firm view that McKinnon's extradition would not be incompatible with his [human] rights", said the letter, dated 26 November. "His extradition to the United States must proceed forthwith".

The decision, described by lawyers as "callous", has prompted new fears about McKinnon's well-being. The letter rejected new expert medical evidence that the health of McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, had deteriorated dramatically since losing his case in the high court in July, and meant that extradition would violate his right to life.