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Alleged Pentagon hacker fears Guantanamo

McKinnon fights extradition

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Lawyers for a Briton fighting extradition to the US on charges that he perpetrated the biggest ever hack against US government systems fear their client could end up in Guantanamo. Gary McKinnon, 40, might be tried under US anti-terror laws over alleged attacks on military and NASA systems between 2001 and 2002.

A hearing in Bow Street Magistrates' Court this week over McKinnon's proposed extradition focused on an argument over Military Order Number One, an executive power that allows a US president to order a suspect's indefinite detention. Mark Summers, a lawyer acting on behalf of the US government, told the court that the US government had promised that McKinnon be tried in a federal court.

Defence lawyer Edmund Lawson disputed this. He argued McKinnon's human rights were imperiled by the US government's desire to punish his client's alleged misdeeds. "The US government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were," Lawson told the court.

District Judge Nicholas Evans will decide whether or not to extradite McKinnon at a hearing scheduled for 10 May. ®

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