Feeds

US extradition could push McKinnon 'towards suicide'

'Fragile' UFO enthusiast fights on

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Gary McKinnon is "too fragile" to extradite to the US to face trial over his admitted computer hacking offences, his lawyers argue.

Barristers representing McKinnon presented expert testimony that the stress of a US extradition and trial could push the 43 year-old, who suffers from Aspberger's Syndrome, towards psychosis or even suicide, the BBC reports. The evidence was presented during a High Court judicial review on former home secretary Jacqui Smith's decision last October to allow extradition proceedings against McKinnon to continue, following his recent diagnosis with a mild form of autism.

McKinnon's lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, argued that the Home Secretary had underestimated the threat to his client's mental health that an extradition and trial in the US poses. He described McKinnon as "an eccentric person who has passionate views about UFOs" rather than a dangerous hacker and described extradition to face a US trial as "unnecessary, avoidable and disproportionate", The Times reports.

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie will be asked to rule on whether health concerns present sufficient reason to block extradition at the end of two-day hearing, due to end later on Wednesday.

McKinnon and his supporters have long campaigned for him to be tried in the UK, if anywhere. UK prosecutors turned down a request back in February, on the basis of a written confession, to allow a trial in the UK on the grounds that evidence and witnesses to McKinnon's wrongdoing were all in the US. This decision has become the subject of a separate application for judicial review.

The former sysadmins' disability was only diagnosed by experts last August and played no part in earlier court proceedings, including failed appeals to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights last summer.

McKinnon admits taking advantage of weak security to hack into US military and NASA systems back in 2001 and 2002 but denies US claims that he caused $700,000 of damage in the process. He was first arrested in 2002 by UK cops from the former NHTCU, before the US began extradition proceedings back in 2005. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.