Concern for life of British hacker set to be extradited to US

27 Nov 2009

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There is concern for the life of British hacker Gary McKinnon, who lives with Asperger syndrome, that he may commit suicide if Britain allows him to be extradited to the US.

McKinnon (43) faces more than 60 years in prison for breaking into 97 Pentagon and NASA computers while searching for evidence of alien landings in 2002.

It is understood he caused damage the US government claims will cost more than US$700,000 to repair.

Yesterday, the British Home Secretary Alan Johnson ordered McKinnon’s removal to the US on charges of breaching US military and NASA computers, despite claims by his lawyers that the extradition would make McKinnon’s death “virtually certain.”

According to reports, McKinnon’s consultant psychiatrist said he suffers from a fixed-psychological conviction that he would kill himself in preference to being extradited.

McKinnon’s legal team are calling for a judicial review to prevent the extradition.

By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com