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Home Secretary Theresa May 'close' to Gary McKinnon decision
The Home Secretary wants Palmers Green computer hacker Gary McKinnon to go through a final psychiatric assessment before deciding whether to extradite him.
At the High Court this morning, judges were told that Theresa May was “close” to making a decision on whether Mr McKinnon, 46, should be handed over to authorities in the United States.
But she was “personally concerned” that medical experts instructed by her department had so far not been permitted to carry out an examination to help her decide whether he would be at high risk of committing suicide if removed.
Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is wanted by US prosecutors for hacking into sensitive Government and military databases between 2001 and 2002. He claims he was looking for information on UFOs.
His supporters have long argued he should face justice in the UK, and extradition to America would be a breach of his human rights, given his health condition.
The case was described by Hugo Keith QC, appearing for the Home Secretary, as “this rather vexed and perhaps totemic case” with important implications for Britain's extradition laws.
Critics claim the extradition arrangement with the US is one-sided and favours the US, but an independent review by former Court of Appeal judge Sir Scott Baker last year found it was both balanced and fair.
In February, Mr McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp, joined Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes and other campaigners to hand poems written by supporters to Downing Street.
The judges adjourned the case and said it should return to the High Court later this month for a further hearing.