Gary McKinnon is still facing extradition to the USA after he hacked into government computer systems, but he should be hired, rather than jailed, a conservative Baroness has suggested.
Baroness Browning, speaking in the House of Lords, put this question to another Lady – Baroness Neville-Jones, minister of state in charge of security at the Home Office:
“My Lords, having been actively involved in the other place in the Gary McKinnon case, I have read his psychiatric reports that were made available to the Home Secretary before the general election. I understand that the Minister is seeking further medical reports. Does she agree that the evidence already before the Home Office shows overwhelmingly that the threat of self-harm is not an idle threat but is very real? Does she also agree, in the light of the damage that has been caused to the American Government by Wikileaks, that, rather than trying to imprison an autistic savant, the Pentagon would do well to employ Gary McKinnon to sort out the weaknesses in its computer system?”
Baroness Neville-Jones declined to answer the second part of the question, and said in reply:
”If I might respond to the first part of my noble friend’s question, one of the factors that influenced my right honourable friend the Home Secretary to stay the judicial review that was in progress was precisely the desire to take a second look at the question of Gary McKinnon’s medical condition. The House will understand that she has asked for a separate and impartial view to be taken of his medical state.”