Hacker given extra week to challenge extradition

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Lawyers for computer hacker Gary McKinnon were given an extra week today to launch a last-gasp legal challenge against his extradition.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson extended the deadline for solicitors to apply for judicial review of the decision not to stop the 43-year-old being sent to the US for trial.

But the ruling falls short of the request made by Mr McKinnon's legal team, who wanted an additional seven days, until December 17. The deadline is now next Thursday, December 10.

A health report handed to Mr Johnson warned the Asperger syndrome sufferer would be a suicide risk if he is sent to the US for trial on charges of hacking into top secret military computers.

It urged him to halt the extradition on the grounds that it would breach human rights laws.

Mr Johnson rejected the application but his decision can be challenged through the courts.

A Home Office spokesman said: "At the request of Gary McKinnon's solicitors, the Home Secretary has granted an extension of seven days in which to apply for judicial review."