'Hacker' Gary loses appeal against extradition to US


 
The high court dismissed two claims for judicial review, dismaying McKinnon’s family and supporters. Janis Sharp, his mother, said: “We are heartbroken.” McKinnon’s lawyers said he would appeal against the decision while his mother asked Barack Obama to intervene.
Standing outside the court, Sharp made a direct address to the US president. “Stand by us and make this world a better place, a more compassionate place,” she said. “Obama wouldn’t have this. He doesn’t want the first guy extradited for computer misuse to be a guy with Asperger’s, a UFO guy. He wouldn’t want this.”

The court decided to uphold a refusal by Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, to sanction a trial of the 43-year-old “UFO eccentric” in Britain.

It also ruled that the former home secretary Jacqui Smith had taken into account McKinnon’s Asperger’s syndrome condition when considering the US extradition request. Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Justice Wilkie in a 41-page ruling said extradition was “a lawful and proportionate response to his offending”.  McKinnon’s solicitor, Karen Todner, said she would lodge an appeal within 28 days and, if possible.

McKinnon has admitted hacking into the computer systems of the US defence department and NASA in 2001-02, but his supporters argued his obsessions led to his misguided hacking activities from his flat in Wood Green, north London, and that he should be tried in Britain. The Free Gary campaign has won the support of more than 100 MPs and backing from the Daily Mail and many celebrities. McKinnon had hacked 97 US military computers, leaving a message saying: “I will continue to disrupt.”

The US government said repairs cost $700,000 (£430,000).

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