Gary McKinnon's mum encouraged by Barack Obama's 'positive' comments

PUBLISHED: 16:19 31 May 2011

Janis Sharp

Janis Sharp

Casey Gutteridge 07525246273

THE mother of autistic computer hacker Gary McKinnon has said she is "cheered" by comments made by US President Barack Obama during his state visit to the UK.

President Obama said last week that he would be “respectful” of Britain’s decision whether or not to extradite Mr McKinnon to the US – where he is wanted for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computer systems and could face up to 60 years in jail if found guilty.

The 45-year-old, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, admits hacking but maintains he was looking for evidence of alien life.

At a press conference in London, President Obama said: “It’s in the hands of the British legal system, we have confidence in the British legal system coming to a just conclusion and we’ll be respectful of that decision.”

This week, Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp said the president’s words “had to be seen as positive” in the battle to keep her son in Britain.

“They [the US Government] have said they expect the UK to make the decision,” Ms Sharp, from Brookmans Park, said.

“I think that our Government wanted to know if America would appeal, but if Obama’s said it is a UK decision, I think that’s all our Government wanted to know.

“David Cameron was calling Gary by his first name. You don’t do that if your planning on sending him off. This has to been seen as positive. I’m cheered.”

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