US Attorney General Eric Holder dashes hope of UK trial for hacker Gary McKinnon

US authorities are still insisting that self-confessed UK hacker, Gary McKinnon, face a US court, despite ongoing efforts to have the trial in the UK.

US authorities are still insisting that self-confessed UK hacker, Gary McKinnon, face a US court, despite ongoing efforts to have the trial in the UK.

The US government has accused Gary McKinnon of hacking 73,000 federal and military computers and causing some $800,000 in damage.

If convicted, McKinnon - who suffers from an autistic condition called Asperger's syndrome - faces up to 60 years in a US jail.

McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp led a long campaign to have her son tried in a British court. Many legal professionals say it is possible for McKinnon to be tried in the UK under present laws.

Sharp and McKinnon are hoping for a breakthrough in his case when US President Barack Obama visits the UK later this month. Last July, Obama promised to find an "appropriate solution".

But US Attorney General Eric Holder has vowed to "take all necessary steps" to have McKinnon extradited and "held accountable for the crimes that he committed", according to the Daily Mail.

Eric Holder told ITV's London Tonight that seven judges in the UK found that McKinnon's extradition was appropriate.

Janis Sharp appealed to Obama in an open letter in anticipation of his UK visit, but Holder's statements suggest US authorities have made their decision and do not intend to step down.

US authorities have persistently demanded his extradition, despite his medical condition and warnings from medical experts McKinnon may attempt suicide if sent to the US.

Sharp told the Mail she was shocked by Holder's response. She said the time had come for the UK government to show compassion and assert its authority by refusing to extradite.

She claims that before the election, David Cameron and Nick Clegg said McKinnon can and must be tried in the UK.

Last November, former home secretary David Blunkett admitted to a parliamentary select committee that - with the hindsight of the past seven years - he would have examined "very carefully" the implications of the 2003 extradition treaty he signed with the US.

David Blunkett had previously expressed his regrets over the treaty, which the US has used to demand the extradition of McKinnon, and has called for Gary McKinnon to be repatriated to serve any penalty a US court imposed.


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