London Times: Alan Johnson ‘stops the clock’ on Gary McKinnon’s extr

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-10-27 18:54:06

Attachments : business.timesonline…   Alan Johnson ‘stops the clock’ on Gary McKinnon’s extradition proceedings (David Bebber/The Times) Gary McKinnon is facing trial in the US after hacking into military computers Lucy Bannerman 15 Comments Recommend? (6) #ygrps-yiv-780073988 div#ygrps-yiv-780073988related-article-links p a, #ygrps-yiv-780073988 div#ygrps-yiv-780073988related-article-links p a:visited { color:#06c;} The Home Secretary has thrown a lifeline to Gary McKinnon, the alleged computer hacker, with a promise to examine new medical evidence “very carefully” before deciding on his extradition to the United States. In an eleventh-hour intervention, Alan Johnson told MPs that he had “stopped the clock” on proceedings to give Mr McKinnon’s lawyers time to consider medical reports and make legal representations. Mr McKinnon, 43, from Wood Green, North London, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. He says that his hacking of Pentagon computers was nothing more than him searching for reports of UFO sightings. His lawyers say that he is at risk of suicide if extradited. Related Links Pentagon hacker wins delay in extradition to US Profile: Gary McKinnon Earlier this month the High Court in London refused Mr McKinnon leave to appeal to Britain’s new Supreme Court, in a devastating blow to his campaign to be tried in the UK. However, Mr Johnson gave fresh hope yesterday to Mr McKinnon’s increasingly desperate supporters. “There are two issues upon which Gary McKinnon’s legal advisers have argued,” he said. “The first is that the Director of Public Prosecutions should have tried him in this country.The High Court in July dismissed that, and wouldn’t allow it to go to judicial review.” But, he continued: “I have to ensure that his Article 3 human rights are being respected. It’s this new medical evidence that I will be looking at very carefully.” Last night Mr McKinnon’s mother welcomed the latest twist in the long-running battle to save her son from a possible life sentence in an American jail. Janis Sharp told The Times that she was hopeful the Home Secretary would heed the medical evidence before him. “The evidence is very powerful. I’m really glad the Home Secretary has decided to look at it, because Gary’s health has already deteriorated so much. After eight years of constant stress, he is suicidal. “We should not have a Government that is so powerless it cannot stand up against America for the right of its own citizens.” Critics say that the 2003 US-UK extradition treaty, which was intended to allow terrorism suspects to be sent across the Atlantic, is “lopsided” and gives a better deal to the Americans. Mr Johnson was also urged yesterday to delay the case by David Burrowes, the Tory MP for Enfield Southgate, Mr McKinnon’s constituency. He said that a decision should not be made until after a select committee inquiry on November 10 into the controversial extradition treaty. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, joined this month those who support Mr McKinnon. He said: “This new psychiatric report into Gary McKinnon’s condition must persuade him that it is no longer acceptable to shrug his shoulders and claim that nothing can be done.” Karen Todner, Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, said: “We are pleased that the Home Secretary is considering these representations. “We hope that he will take the time to consider them fully and will have some compassion towards Gary, whose mental state is extremely precarious.” American prosecutors accuse Mr McKinnon of hacking into 97 computers soon after September 11, 2001.   Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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