Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has won his 10-year fight against extradition after the Home Secretary stepped in to halt proceedings.
The Home Secretary is proposing to decide in mid-October whether to order computer hacker Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has refused to be examined by a Home Office expert attempting to discover whether he can be extradited.
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 is 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 transfer witnesses or evidence to the UK
- The "prospect of a conviction in the UK which reflects the full extent of his alleged criminality are not high"
The Crown Prosecution Service have declared their decision not to prosecute Gary McKinnon in the UK.
They state that the appropriate jurisdiction would be the United States, which is an interesting decision bearing in mind Mr McKinnon was originally arrested and interviewed by British police in 2002.
Mr McKinnon has always indicated that he would be willing to plead guilty to an offence under the Misuse of Computers Act but clearly cannot do so if he is not going to be prosecuted.
– Gary McKinnon's solicitors Kaim Todner
Mr McKinnon's legal team remains aware that his extradition warrant is still outstanding and will seek to explore other ways in which Mr McKinnon can receive complete closure on this long saga.
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will face no further criminal action, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has said.
The decision follows a review of the case after the Government's decision to block his extradition to the United States in October on health grounds.
Mr McKinnon, 46, from Wood Green, north London, would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted in the US.
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will face no further criminal action, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said today.
An announcement is expected this afternoon from the Crown Prosecution Service on the possible UK prosecution of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon, his lawyers said.
The 46-year-old who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome admits hacking into the computers but claims that he was looking for evidence of UFOs.
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp said she was "overwhelmed" after a 10-year battle against extradition which had been "an emotional rollercoaster".
London mayor Boris Johnson said: "At last, justice and the well-being of Mr McKinnon have prevailed.
"I have long supported Gary's right to be tried here in the UK.
"To extradite a man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome to America for trial would have been extraordinarily cruel and inhumane. I applaud the Government's stance.
"If they had approved extradition, they'd have been saying that extradition on any grounds was OK. It's not."
Melanie Riley, of campaign group Friends Extradited, said: "We are relieved and delighted for Gary and his family and his lawyers.
"A brave and correct decision has finally been made by the Home Secretary."
Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp thanked Home Secretary Theresa May for blocking her son's extradition, saying: "Thank you Theresa May from the bottom of my heart - I always knew you had the strength and courage to do the right thing."
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon won his 10-year fight against extradition today after Home Secretary Theresa May stepped in to halt proceedings.
Mrs May stopped his extradition on human rights ground after medical reports showed the 46-year-old was very likely to try to kill himself if extradited.
McKinnon was accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military computer hack of all time", but he claims he was simply looking for evidence of UFOs. Mrs May said the sole issue she was considering was whether "extradition to the United States would breach his human rights".
There was no doubt McKinnon is "seriously ill" and the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn, she said.
It is now for the director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC to decide whether he should face trial in the UK, Mrs May added.