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  1. ITV Report

McKinnon refuses medical examination

Gary McKinnon is wanted by American authorities on charges of computer hacking. Photo: Reuters

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has refused to be examined by a Home Office expert attempting to discover whether he can be extradited. McKinnon is wanted by the US authorities on charges that he hacked into government computer systems.

However, McKinnon has the condition Asperger's Syndrome which is a form of autism. His supporters have argued that examinations by other medical experts have shown that he could commit suicide if extradited.

At a High Court hearing earlier this month, the judges heard that the joint current view of two psychiatric experts - Professor Thomas Fahy and Professor Declan Murphy - was that Mr McKinnon's suicide risk was "moderate".

Professor Murphy had examined Mr McKinnon in November 2009 and said the risk was high and he would require one-to-one observation to avoid a serious suicide bid, but his latest assessment was that the risk could be managed.

However, Dr Jan Vermeulen, one of the medical experts appointed by Mr McKinnon's advisers, has said that the hacker was unfit to plead and stand trial.

The Home Office has asked for another examination to be carried out by Professor Fahy but McKinnon's supporters claim he has no experience in uncovering suicidal tendencies in Asperger's Syndrome patients.

The Home Secretary Theresa May is supposed to rule on whether McKinnon should be extradited soon but a spokeswoman for his family said they would return to the High Court on Tuesday.

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