Police frontman Sting and wife Trudie Styler are among the latest celebrities to support self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon's bid to be tried in the UK for what US officials call "the biggest military hack of all time".
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Last week, the director of public prosecutions (DPP) said he found "no evidence" on which to charge McKinnon in the UK. Lawyers for McKinnon said the DPP had not asked to see what evidence the US held for its extradition request.
Extradition arrangements between the US and UK allow the US to demand and receive the extradition of UK citizens without having to show prima facie evidence that supports their suspicions. However, the US insists that British requests for US citizens to face trial in the UK are supported by evidence.
McKinnon earlier wrote to the DPP to confirm that he had admitted to UK police in 2001 to contravening the Computer Misuse Act. McKinnon also asked to be tried in the UK rather than the US, where he faces up to 70 years in jail.
Sting told The Mail on Sunday, "It is a travesty of human rights that Gary McKinnon finds himself in this dreadful situation.
"The US response in relation to the true nature of Gary's crime is disproportionate in the extreme. Gary is even contemplating suicide because of his fear of incarceration as a terrorist in a US jail.
"The British government is prepared to hand over this vulnerable man without reviewing the evidence."
Cambridge University's Simon Baron-Cohen, a world authority on autism, said McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, an autistic condition, should be tried in the UK. McKinnon should be treated not as a terrorist but as a man with a social disability, he said.
Photo by Lionel Urman