The British government does not mind the extradition of an autistic computer hacker accused of breaking into U.S. military computers.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said Thursday he will not intervene in the case of Gary McKinnon. U.S. prosecutors say McKinnon hacked into computers shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.
McKinnon claims he was searching for evidence of alien life. His lawyers say he has a form of autism and is at risk of suicide if extradited.
Johnson said U.S. authorities had assured him that they would meet McKinnon's health needs.
Britain's High Court ruled last month that McKinnon should be extradited but his lawyers had hoped that the government would intervene. McKinnon can now still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Gary McKinnon, 43, is a Scottish hacker facing extradition to the United States on charges of perpetrating what one US prosecutor claims is the "biggest military computer hack of all time."
Following legal hearings in the UK it was decided in July 2006 that he should be extradited to the US. In February 2007 his lawyers argued against the ruling in an appeal to the High Court in London, which was turned down on 3 April. On 30 July 2007 the House of Lords agreed to hear the appeal and on 17 June 2008 the Law Lords began hearing the case.This Judgment was delivered on 30 July 2008 with the Law Lords judging that Gary McKinnon could be extradited to the United States. He was given two weeks to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights before extradition, but the Court halted the extradition for an additional two weeks to allow time to hear his appeal on August 28, which was subsequently rejected.
His legal team subsequently decided to lodge another appeal, which was granted, based on the fact that McKinnon had allegedly been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.His diagnosis was made in August 2008 by the Cambridge University psychologist Prof Simon Baron-Cohen.
On 31 July 2009, McKinnon lost his application for judicial review of the Home Secretary's decision not to block the extradition, and also of the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision not to bring proceedings in the English courts.
On 27 October 2009 the Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced he would "stop the clock" on proceedings to study new medical evidence before approving the extradition to give McKinnon's legal team more time to appeal in Europe.
The Glaswegian-born systems administrator, who attended Highgate Wood Secondary School in north London, is accused of hacking into 97 United States military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, using the name 'Solo'. The computer networks he is accused of hacking include networks owned by NASA, the US Army, US Navy, Department of Defense, and the US Air Force.
The Associated Press has contributed to the report.
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