Report by Chris Richards, Reporter
Sunday, March 7, 2010
THE mum of an autistic man wanted in the US for computer hacking has expressed relief after her son was given nearly three months to prepare for his latest court hearing.
Janis Sharp spoke out after it was announced that a judicial review of the Government’s decision NOT to block her son Gary McKinnon’s extradition to America on medical grounds would take place at the High Court in London on May 25 and 26.
Mrs Sharp, from Brookmans Park, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times she became emotional when she learned of this latest development in her seven-year battle to keep Asperger’s sufferer Gary in the UK.
“I cried when I heard the news,” she said.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Mrs Sharp, an author and musician, believes that her son would be at risk of suicide should he be put on a plane to the US.
However, these concerns were dismissed by the Home Secretary Alan Johnson in November who said he had no power to prevent Gary from being extradited.
Now, at the hearing in May, two senior judges will review the minister’s ruling – with a decision expected to follow around two weeks later.
Prosecutors in America allege that Gary, 43, caused nearly £500,000 worth of damage to military computers in 2001 and 2002.
If convicted in a US court, he could face up to 60 years in jail.
Glasgow-born Gary, who lives in North London, admits hacking but maintains he was looking for evidence of alien life.