US continues fight to extradite Gary McKinnon

The US is still fighting hard to extradite Gary McKinnon. It seems the accused British hacker, who has Asperger’s, is very much without friends in Parliament. 

The threats come from US Attorney General, Eric Holder, who told London Tonight that the US is determined to get McKinnon extradited and would not give up. He told the ITV programme that the alleged hacker was a “person who committed serious crimes”, which resulted in about $1 million worth of damages in the United States.

He added that seven judges in the UK had already decided that “extradition was appropriate,” sticking the boot in further by citing the previous Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who, he says, agreed extradition was appropriate.

Mr McKinnon has been facing a lengthly fight since 2001 after he was accused of hacking into 97 computers operated by the U.S. government. At the time he claimed that he’d been looking for evidence of UFO cover ups, which had led him to look at files held by the Pentagon, Army, Air Force and NASA.

Back in 2008, McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger’s after losing one of many fights against his extradition order.

Although Mr Mckinnon said at the time this could explain his success in hacking into the computers, he made it clear that it did not contribute in his willingness to do it.

However, human rights groups insist he be trialled in the UK.  

In July last year, it seemed as though McKinnon would have some help from high places when Prime Minister David Cameron moved to prevent his extradition, claiming that he should face time in a British prison if convicted.

The Lib Dems also believed McKinnon should not face extradition. But Deputy PM Nick Clegg, after seizing some power in parliament, said the the UK may not have the means to halt an earlier court decision allowing McKinnon to be extradited.

It was a strong contradiction to previous statements, where he pointed the finger at then Home Secretary Alan Johnson – claiming that he had the power to make changes to the law which would allow McKinnon to be tried in Britain.

On hearing the latest, Janis Sharp, McKinnon’s mother, said: “Pre-election, David Cameron and Nick Clegg had both said that Gary can and must be tried in the UK.”

Times have obviously changed.