Feeds

US extradition could push McKinnon 'towards suicide'

'Fragile' UFO enthusiast fights on

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.