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Terror watchdog says UFO hacker McKinnon should not be extradited

Antony Savvas

Terror law watchdog Lord Carlile has written to the home secretary to call on UFO hacker Gary McKinnon to be prosecuted in the UK instead of being extradited to the US to face charges there.

Carlile's intervention comes as the director of public prosecutions considers whether to prosecute McKinnon - who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome - under British computer misuse laws.

In a letter to home secretary Jacqui Smith, Carlile says, "There is no doubt that Mr McKinnon could be prosecuted in this country given that the acts of hacking occurred within our jurisdiction.

"Of special importance is the opinion of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who describes the unusual and florid symptoms which place Mr McKinnon clearly within the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder, with potential injury to his health of a high order were he to be transferred to the US legal system."

He suggests a transfer to the US, where McKinnon faces jail, could infringe European human rights laws.

"I would hope that the US authorities would be prepared to accept that the English legal system is capable of dealing with the case in full," he says.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson also says McKinnon should be tried in the UK instead - a call supported by several MPs.

A final judicial review of the case is scheduled for next month.


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