Barack Obama is to receive a personal plea from peers, MPs and mental health experts to halt the extradition of a British computer hacker who suffers from a form of autism.
Campaigners will call on the US president to let Gary McKinnon face trial in his home country for breaking into Nasa and Pentagon networks, rather than sending him to America where he could be jailed for up to 60 years in a high-security prison. They will say that the 43 year-old has Asperger syndrome – a type of autism that makes him shy and prone to obsessive behaviour – and warn that his condition would likely deteriorate were he to be taken away from his home and family then jailed abroad.
The letter is being written by the National Autistic Society, a leading charity, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, a cross-party alliance of MPs and peers that lobbies for better support for sufferers. A spokesman for the society said: “The group are intending to write to Barack Obama. ”The letter hasn’t been drafted yet but it will be finalised in the next couple of days. It may involve asking MPs for signatures.”
David Burrowes, Mr McKinnon’s local MP in Enfield Southgate, said: “We need to take it further and call upon Barack Obama himself to take action as the pleas have fallen on deaf ears so far.” Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, added: “I think it would be a good idea. I hope that even if the UK authorities feel unable to look again at the case, if it was legally possible for the US to do so, that would be a sensible position to take.”
Mr McKinnon admits that he hacked into 97 US computers from a bedroom in north London between 2001 and 2002 and left a message on one machine saying: “I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.” He says he was looking for evidence to show that the authorities have covered up the existence of UFOs.
via Barack Obama to be asked not to extradite UFO hacker Gary McKinnon « Derren Brown Blog.