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Morally right to try hacker McKinnon in UK, says Nick Clegg

Ian Grant

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has repeated his view that self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon should be tried in the UK, but said the government lacked the power to reverse some of the legal decisions that had led to McKinnon's possible extradition to the US.

Clegg told a BBC radio station that the government was studying the situation very carefully. Morally "it was the right thing to do" to try McKinnon in the UK, he said.

Judges were expected to review former home secretary Alan Johnson's decision to allow McKinnon's extradition to proceed, but Theresa May, who replaced Johnson, last week put off the review in order to study the case in more detail.

In the run-up to the election Clegg had described McKinnon, an Asperger's sufferer, as a vulnerable man whose life was in danger if he was tried and jailed in the US.

The US has accused McKinnon of the "greatest hack of all time" for breaking into Pentagon and federal computer systems around the time of the 9/11 atrocity.

McKinnon claimed he was looking for evidence that the US held secret information about unidentified flying objects and alien energy technology. He denies causing damage worth $700,000 to the systems.


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