McKinnon will not face UK trial

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not face trial in the UK after US authorities refuse to share witnesses or transfer intelligence to the CPS

Gary McKinnon will not face prosecution in the UK for his alleged hacking of US government computer systems.

The hacker, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, was accused of hacking into military and Nasa computers in 2002, leading to the US seeking extradition for trial for almost 10 years.

However, McKinnon was spared from extradition on health grounds in October 2012 by Home Secretary Teresa May, who handed the case to the director of public prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to see if he should be tried under UK law.

A joint police and CPS panel was formed soon after to hold discussions with the US Department of Justice in order to gain information gathered during its investigation into the case.

Today, a statement from the CPS revealed the US did not want to pass on the intelligence and, as a result, McKinnon would not face any criminal prosecution on UK shores.

“On 4 December this year, US authorities indicated to us that they would be willing to co-operate with a prosecution in England and Wales if that would serve the interests of justice,” it read. 

“However, they do not consider that making all the US witnesses available for trial in London and transferring all of the US material to this jurisdiction would be in the interests of justice, given our representations and the reasons for the decision that the US was the appropriate forum as set out above.

“That is a decision the US authorities are fully entitled to reach and we respect their decision.”

The statement concluded: “Against this background, the joint CPS/police panel recommended to the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police that he should not commence a new criminal investigation into Mr McKinnon. The assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has accepted that advice.”

McKinnon and his mother, Janis Sharp, who has led the campaign against his extradition, had not published a statement at the time of publication.

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