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Go-Between actress backs McKinnon extradition fight

The US is a foreign country. They do things differently there

Oscar winning actress Julie Christie has joined the campaign to save UFO conspiracy theorist turned hacker Gary McKinnon from extradition to the United States.

The star of Dr Zhivago and The Go-Between has joined supporters from the music business - former Police frontman Sting and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour - as well as other luminaries including London mayor Boris Johnson and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite in backing McKinnon's long-running campaign. Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws, is another significant McKinnon supporter.

News of Christie's support came in a Twitter post by Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, which promised further celebrity endorsements will follow. McKinnon's ranks of supporters have swelled since he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in the aftermath of a failed appeal against extradition to the House of Lords last year. McKinnon, who admits hacking but denies US damage claims, and his supporters have been fighting against his extradition since 2005.

A judicial review on whether Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was correct in allowing extradition proceedings against McKinnon to proceed, in spite of his medical condition, is due to take place in June. This represents McKinnon's best hope of avoiding an involuntary trip to the US, a trial and the likelihood of a lengthy spell behind bars. ®

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