Alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon had been living under the threat of extradition and prosecution in the US for more than 10 years before Home Secretary Theresa May blocked his removal on health grounds in October.
On his campaigning mother's birthday, Gary Mckinnon was told today he wont face any charges for hacking into US military computers 11 years ago. For a decade together they have fought extradition to America over his actions.
Today in Britain the Director of Public Prosecutions announced that after consulting with the US authorities, the prospects of a conviction are not high, so he has no criminal case to answer.But his legal team says the fight isn't quite over yet. Toby Sadler reports.
The United States has expressed its disappointment in the decision taken by the CPS not to prosecute Gary McKinnon. The US Embassy in London released a statement saying:
The United States was disappointed by the UK Home Secretary’s decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon, particularly in light of the UK courts’ and prior Home Secretaries’ decisions that he should face trial in the United States.
We note that the Home Secretary acknowledged the seriousness of the crimes of which Mr. McKinnon is accused, and described this case as exceptional, indicating that her decision does not set a precedent for future cases.
The Director of Public Prosecutions and the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service released a joint statement explaining their decision not to take further action against Gary McKinnon.
They identified a number of reasons why pursuing a prosecution would not be in the public interest:
Gary McKinnon was originally supposed to be tried in the US, in October 2012, when the Home Secretary decided not to extradite him, there was no live criminal investigation against him in the UK, nor had there been for many years
As far as building a case against McKinnon in the UK was concerned, "the harm occurred in the US", the investigation was launched in the US, most of the witnesses are in the US and nearly all the physical evidence is in the US
US authorities, though willing to co-operate with a prosecution, would not agree to transfer witnesses or evidence to the UK