Pentagon hacker tries one more time to avoid extradition

A British systems administrator who hacked into U.S. military computers will have another chance to make his case why he shouldn't be extradited to the U.S.

A British systems administrator who hacked into U.S. military computers in 2001 and 2002 will have another chance to make his case of why he shouldn't be extradited to the U.S.

A High Court judge will decide on Jan. 20 whether another court should review Gary McKinnon's case again, said Karen Todner, his attorney. If the judge approves the request, a further hearing would be scheduled later next year in the High Court, Todner said.

McKinnon, of London, was indicted in November 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on charges related to illegally accessing and damaging U.S. government computers. McKinnon maintains he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The U.K. government approved his extradition in 2006, but McKinnon filed several appeals in U.K. courts, losing them all. The European Court of Human Rights rejected another appeal in August.

That ruling appeared to clear the way for McKinnon to be sent to the U.S. But McKinnon applied once again for a written review of the case, which was rejected. However, McKinnon could still ask for an oral review, which will occur on Jan. 20. McKinnon's extradition order has since been put on hold pending the latest challenge, Todner said.

If the judge rejects the review, McKinnon could appeal once again to the European Court of Human Rights but on new grounds, she said.

McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by obsessive behavior and deficiencies in social interaction. The condition means McKinnon may have an argument that if he is extradited, found guilty and sentenced, he should be allowed to serve his sentence in the U.K.

On Oct. 30, 80 members of Parliament signed an early-day motion urging that the U.K. government get assurances from the U.S. that McKinnon could serve his sentence in the U.K. due to his medical state.

The soft-spoken McKinnon has admitted to his hacking but said he did not believe it caused damage. The U.S. government alleges it cost at least $US700,000 and caused the shutdown of critical military networks shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

McKinnon has not been incarcerated as his case traversed the courts. He's not supposed to have contact with computers and has said he has struggled to find gainful employment because of the publicity around the case.

He does have a band of supporters, however, who asked the U.K. government not to extradite him and held small rallies outside the U.S. embassy in London. Those supporters are planning another demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy on Friday, according to a blog chronicling McKinnon's plight.

The demonstrators plan to give a letter to the embassy asking President-elect Barack Obama to intervene once he takes office on Jan. 20.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?