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Pentagon hacker wins right to UK appeal

Law Lords agrees to hear his appeal

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Gary McKinnon, the self-described "bumbling amateur" who allegedly got access to US government and military computers while researching space aliens, has been given leave to appeal his case in the UK.

McKinnon was due to be extradicted to the US to face charges but took his final appeal to the House of Lords. They decided 11 October that his appeal should be heard by the Lords in the UK.

They decided on the basis of the first question which related to a plea bargain McKinnon was offered. Essentially he was told if he accepted extradition to the US then he would face a reduced sentence if found guilty, and US authorities would not block any attempt to serve that sentence in the UK.

But if he did oppose extradition he would face longer in prison, with no possibliity of serving his sentence in the UK.

A statement from Kaim Todner, McKinnon's lawyers, said: "McKinnon submits that these threats amount to an abuse of the extradition process, and he is delighted that the House of Lords have granted his request to put his case before them."

McKinnon's lawyer said he was very pleased by the decision.

No date has been set for the hearing but it is likely to be within the next six to 18 months. ®

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