UK hacker loses extradition fight

A London man has lost his High Court Fight against extradition to the US. He allegedly carried out the "biggest military computer hack of all time". Gary McKinnon, of north London, is accused of gaining access to 97 US military and Nasa computers. Home Secretary John Reid granted the US request to extradite him for trial.

At the High Court in London, his lawyers argued the 41-year-old had been subjected to "improper threats" and the move would breach his human rights. His lawyers had argued that, if extradited, he would face an unknown length of time in pre-trial detention, with no likelihood of bail.

He would also face a long prison sentence - "in the region of 45 years" - and may not be allowed to serve part of the sentence at home in the UK, his lawyers had said. But, on Tuesday, Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Goldring dismissed his legal challenge, saying they could not find any grounds for appeal.

News source: BBC News


Ben Cooper, for Mr McKinnon, said his client would now seek to make an appeal against his extradition at the House of Lords. Alleged threats by US authorities, including one from New Jersey prosecutors that "he would fry", would be among issues raised, Mr Cooper said. "We will certainly be applying for this court to certify a point of law of public importance and to grant leave," he said.

Mr McKinnon had been suffering from ill health during recent court hearings, he added. Mr McKinnon has never denied that he accessed the computer networks of a wide number of US military institutions between February 2001 and March 2002. Mr McKinnon, arrested in November 2002, has always maintained that he was motivated by curiosity and that he only managed to get into the networks because of lax security.

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