McKinnon extradition blocked

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that attempts to extradite Gary McKinnon to the US have been blocked.

Speaking at the House of Commons, May said that McKinnon would no longer face extradition to America after he hacked into US military computer systems in 2001.

“After careful consideration of all of the relevant material I have concluded that Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give to rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights,” May said. 

” I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr McKinnon.”

May continued: “Since I came into office the sole issue on which I have been required to make a decision is whether Mr McKinnon’s extradition to the United States would breach his human rights,” said May, who described McKinnon’s case as exceptional.

May told MPs that he is accused of “serious crimes” but is also “seriously ill” with Asperger’s Syndrome.

McKinnon has faced ten years waiting to learn of his fate.  It is said that he would face up to 60 years imprisonment.

McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp said told reporters that she was “overwhelmed” at the decision, and thanked the Home Secretary for standing up to America.

Sharp has led a campaign to halt the extradition of her son over the past years, appealing directly to the Prime Minister to intervene.  

MPs also joined in the debate, with controversy over what has been perceived as a one sided extradition treaty between the UK and the US.