Theresa May handed down a long-overdue decision today, saying that Gary McKinnon's extradition to the USA was to be prevented on human rights grounds. She also announced changes to UK-US extradition arrangements, announcing a "forum bar" whereby a judge can block an extradition and order a trial on UK soil.
Mr. McKinnon hacked into several US government computers in 2001 and 2002. The Extradition Act under which he was to be sent to the USA was enacted in 2003, and he has been fighting extradition since 2005. It had come to light that he has autism-spectrum disorder, and he claims he was searching for evidence of UFOs. The latest psychiatric reviews had suggested he was at high risk of attempting suicide if taken to the USA.
Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye commented:
"Today's decision is welcome, if long overdue. It's frankly a scandal that Gary McKinnon has been left waiting for more than a decade. This case has not made the US, or the UK, safer. It has however torn a family apart, and I hope Gary McKinnon and his mother Janis Sharp can start to rebuild their lives.
If anything the US government should be thanking Gary - in the computer security industry, hackers who make their attacks public are seen as a blessing, as they expose vulnerabilities which can then be fixed.
Equally long overdue is the decision to change UK-US extradition arrangements. I have been calling for this for months, and it has broad support. Hopefully now we can see British justice on British soil."
Pirate Party UK