Hacker's mother pleads for quick decision on extradition


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The Independent Online

The mother of Gary McKinnon pleaded with the Home Secretary to make a quicker decision on her son's future after learning that it will be another three months before a decision is made on his extradition.

Mr McKinnon, 46, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is wanted by the United States on hacking charges.

Yesterday, as the case came before the High Court, Hugo Keith QC, representing Theresa May, said that the Home Secretary was planning to make a decision "on or around 16 October" .

Mr McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp said: "The evidence is there that Gary is unfit for trial and a suicide risk. We need this decision. This delay is morally wrong."

She continued: "Gary cannot cope any more. Everybody has been finding it very difficult. It is absolutely ruining everybody's lives. It is now 10 years."

Mr McKinnon, who suffers from a high-functioning form of autism, admits hacking into military computers between 2001 and 2002, but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

Last week the family refused to have him undergo further medical tests by a Home Office psychiatrist, insisting that he had already been assessed six times and the appointed expert had no experience of uncovering suicidal tendencies in Asperger's syndrome patients. Even if Mrs May allows extradition, the case could drag on until later in the year with the London man's lawyers expected to apply for a judicial review to challenge the decision.

A Home Office spokeswoman said yesterday: "This is a complex case, in a complex area of the law, and a large amount of material has been submitted, some of it relatively recently. The Home Secretary needs to consider all the material carefully before making a decision."