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McKinnon supporters plan Home Office demo

Last gasp plea

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Friends and family of accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon are planning a protest outside the Home Office at 4pm on Tuesday (2 September).

Last week the European Court of Human Rights declined to intervene in preventing McKinnon's extradition to the US on hacking offences. Following the earlier rejection of appeals in the extradition case, which went all the way to the House of Lords, McKinnon's sole hope of avoiding a trial in the US rests on the slender hope that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will block the extradition and allow McKinnon to be tried in the UK.

McKinnon was recently diagnosed as suffering from Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. His legal team have written to the Home Secretary asking Smith for McKinnon's extradition to be cancelled on medical grounds. As it stands McKinnon faces the prospect of boarding a one-way flight with representatives of the US Marshals Service within the next two weeks or less.

The unemployed former sysadmin faces US charges of hacking into 97 US government, NASA and military systems between 2001 and 2002. McKinnon and his legal team have fought his extradition since 2005, consistently arguing that he ought to be tried in the UK. If extradited to the US and convicted, McKinnon faces eight to ten years' imprisonment, according to papers submitted during his House of Lords appeal.

More details of the proposed demo can be found on the Free Gary protest blog here. ®

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