Gary McKinnon, the UFO-obsessed computer geek who hacked into the Pentagon networks, faces up to 70 years in an American prison as a terrorist under a controversial extradition treaty.
His supporters include pop star Sting and wife Trudie Styler, who have written to Jacqui Smith backing his case.
Sting told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It’s a travesty of human rights that Gary McKinnon finds himself in this dreadful situation. The US response in relation to the true nature of Gary’s crime is disproportionate in the extreme. Gary is even contemplating suicide because of his fear of incarceration as a terrorist in a US jail. The British Government is prepared to hand over this vulnerable man without reviewing the evidence. Sting pointed out that Mr McKinnon faces extradition under an Extradition Act signed by Britain but not Washington – which means Britain does not have reciprocal rights.
Sting and his wife Trudie Styler have sent a hamper and a note of support to the family of Nasa hacker Gary McKinnon.
Sting publically stated support for McKinnon last week, and has now followed up by sending a hamper full of goodies and a card to the family, according to McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp.
“We woke up and were feeling a bit down and there was a knock at the door and the postman delivered… a huge parcel from Sting and his wife Trudie,” Sharp wrote in an email sent to ZDNet UK.
“It’s full of wine, champagne, biscuits, food, chocolates and loads of stuff and they included a lovely card telling us to hang in there and said that lots of important people are rooting for us,” Sharp added.
Support is indeed gathering for McKinnon, who has been accused by US prosecutors of “the biggest military hack of all time”. Terror-law investigator Lord Carlile of Berriew last week said that McKinnon’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autistic spectrum, meant he should be tried here rather than in the US.
McKinnon faces extradition to the US under a non-reciprocal treaty signed in 2003 by then-Home Secretary David Blunkett. If found guilty, 43 year-old McKinnon faces a prison sentence of up to seventy years.
Conservative shadow minister for justice David Burrowes in October launched an early day motion in the House of Commons petitioning for McKinnon to be tried in the UK, which has now been signed by eighty MPs. Human rights organisations including Justice and Liberty support McKinnon, who has also been backed by autism organisations and experts including professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University.
McKinnon stands accused of accessing 97 US military computers. The US claim that McKinnon was politically motivated, that he caused £700,000 worth of damage, and that he disabled operations on a US Navy warship. McKinnon has never denied accessing the systems, but denies causing any damage, and claims he was searching for evidence of extra-terrestrials. McKinnon claims to have found a list of non-terrestrial US military officers, and evidence of anti-gravity projects.
Source: Daily Mail and ZDNET

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