Final decision by Home Sec on McKinnon extradition due today

May be, May be not


The Home Secretary is expected to announce whether or not the government will block Gary McKinnon's US extradition in Parliament today.

Theresa May is due to deliver a decision on whether the Scottish sysadmin's medical problems as an Asperger's Syndrome sufferer are sufficiently severe to block extradition. A possible appeal date already penciled into the diary – 28/29 November – but a statement by Karen Todner of McKinnon's solicitors Kaim Todner issued on Monday expresses fresh optimism about the ruling.

Todner said:

We hope that our elected government will uphold the promises they made whilst in opposition and will prevent Mr McKinnon's extradition to America.

Mr McKinnon suffers from Aspergers and is at high risk of suicide. Indeed this has now been confirmed by psychiatrists instructed by the Home Secretary who state 'we can not offer reassurances that Mr McKinnon would not attempt to, or be successful in, harming or killing himself if he is arrested or extradited'.

It has been a long 11-year battle to fight this extradition and we wait with anxiety, but hope, that the Home Secretary will uphold the promises previously made by Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg.

The McKinnon campaign received a shot in the arm on Friday after Home Office-commissioned medical experts issued a report warning that McKinnon would be likely to attempt suicide rather than submit to extradition.

Theresa May ordered a review of the medical evidence in the McKinnon case back in May 2010, following the election of a coalition government whose members campaigned in opposition against the unfairness of the UK-US extradition treaty. McKinnon's family and supporters have made the inquiry of the extradition treaty a key plank of their long-running campaign, which seeks a UK trial for the UFO enthusiast.

McKinnon, 46, admits breaking into US military and NASA computers during a UFO-themed hacking spree during 2001 and 2002. The Scot was arrested by UK police in 2002 but no further action was taken until US extradition proceedings began in 2005.

The years since then have resulted in numerous appeals (one of which went all the way to the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights), political reviews, judicial reviews, medical reviews and debates in Parliament over the case. Efforts to broker a diplomatic agreement have come to nothing while the McKinnon campaign has garnered the support of the great and good in British society, including human rights campaigner and former hostage Terry Waite and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, among many others. ®

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