May 162010
 
 May 16, 2010  Posted by  Court, Non-U.S.

Gary McKinnon’s mother and supporters in the U.K. are hopeful that the new Lib-Con coalition government will reverse the decision of the previous government and block extraditing McKinnon to the U.S.. The U.S. wants McKinnon to stand trial here for hacking charges that date back to 2001 and 2002. Both candidates had said that they had been concerned about Labour’s decision to extradite McKinnon and would do something if elected. Now that they’re elected, McKinnon expects them to put their money where their campaign mouths were.

McKinnon’s case has become somewhat of a cause celebre in the U.K. and there is much public sympathy for the 43-year old who admitted hacking into the Pentagon’s computers, but only to look for evidence of UFOs that he thought was being concealed. The family has used a diagnosis of Asperger’s to help justify why McKinnon should be tried, and jailed, in the U.K., pleading that the stress and conditions in U.S. jails would adversely affect his mental health. McKinnon faces a 60 year sentence if tried and convicted here.

McKinnon’s lawyer has already approached the new Home Secretary about the case to ask for a reversal of the extradition order. While the family expresses optimism while awaiting a decision, one U.K. paper may be jumping the gun. The Scottish Sunday Express heralds:

Scots computer hacker Gary McKinnon is set to avoid extradition and be tried in Britain, the Scottish Sunday Express can reveal.

The 43-year-old’s family expects confirmation from the new Government within days that the decision to send Gary to the USA has been overturned.

If the extradition order is reversed, that might be seen as a chink in U.S.-U.K. relationships. The U.S.’s actions in this case have been viewed as legitimate by some who argue that a hacking crime against the U.S. government should be tried here. Others claims that the U.S. used anti-terrorism laws passed after the hacking occurred to try to extradite McKinnon as a terrorist instead of as a conspiracy theorist who was just looking for evidence of UFOs.

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