Politicians rally behind hacker Gary McKinnon

British politicians are coming out in support of self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon to prevent him serving a jail term in the US.

British politicians are coming out in support of self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon to prevent him serving a jail term in the US.

McKinnon faces imminent extradition to the US to face trial for allegedly hacking more than 73,000 computers belonging to the US Army, Navy and Department of Defense.

David Burrowes, shadow justice minister, has urged home secretary Jaqui Smith to halt McKinnon's extradition unless the US allows him to serve any sentence in Britain.

Burrowes, MP for McKinnon's home constituency of Enfield Southgate in north London, filed the petition in an early day motion last week after failing to get a response to a personal appeal made to Smith two weeks earlier.

The motion has been backed by Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Chris Mullin, former foreign office minister, and Conservative MP John Bercow.

David Blunkett, former home secretary, is among supporters who have called for McKinnon to be repatriated immediately because the hacker has Asperger's syndrome.

The Home Office has rejected an appeal for McKinnon's extradition to be set aside on the grounds that he suffered from Asperger's.

McKinnon's lawyer has since asked for a judicial review of the case by the High Court, which is expected to make a decision in four to six weeks.

Former home secretary John Reid granted the US request to extradite McKinnon on 4 July 2006. McKinnon has since appealed and lost in every court available to him.

McKinnon admitted he gained illegal entry to US military computers between 1999 and 2003, but he has denied the alleged extent of his incursions or that he caused damage.

Podcast: my country let me down, says Gary McKinnon >>

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