Brits block UFO hacker's extradition to U.S.

By Ted Bonnitt on October 15th, 2012
Brits block UFO hacker's extradition to U.S.
Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon

The British government today blocked a U.S. extradition demand of a mentally disabled British citizen to stand trial for computer hacking, on humanitarian grounds.

Gary McKinnon, of North London is accused by the U.S. government of hacking U.S. national security databases ten years ago. The autistic 46 year-old claims that he was only searching for UFO evidence, and is no terrorist. 

McKinnon suffers from Asperger Syndrome and a depressive illness. He has admitted to hacking into nearly 100 NASA and Pentagon computers.

The U.S. wants to extradite McKinnon based on a 2003 treaty that was signed with Great Britain in the wake of the attack on the New York Trade Towers on September 11, 2001.

If found guilty in a U.S. court, Gary McKinnon could face up to 60 years in prison.

McKinnon's mother and his legal defense team fought McKinnon's extradition to the U.S, claiming that prison would make him a suicide risk, due to his mental state.  British Home Secretary Theresa May agreed saying, "there is such a high risk of him ending his own life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with his human rights."

The ten year legal battle has deeply affected McKinnon and his family and has made headlines worldwide, most of it sympathetic to McKinnon.

British officials are now considering whether McKinnon should face trial in a UK court over the hacking charges.

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