MP slams Home Secretary over Gary McKinnon extradition

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has slammed the Home Secretary’s decision to extradite an autistic man who is wanted in the US on computer hacking charges.

Mr Clappison spoke out after Alan Johnson decided he could NOT prevent Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon from being sent for trial in the US on the grounds that it would not breach his human rights.

The minister had been considering new evidence about Mr McKinnon’s mental health before he made his ruling last week.

His decision, however, has been criticised by a number of MPs, including Mr Clappison, who is a member of the influential Home Affairs Committee.

The committee’s chairman, Keith Vaz, had earlier written to Mr Johnson to advise him that he had legal scope to block Mr McKinnon’s extradition.


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However, defending his decision in the House of Commons, the Home Secretary said blocking the extradition would have been “unlawful”.

But Mr Clappison, himself a former barrister, remains unimpressed.

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He said: “As a member of the Home Affairs Committee, I’m very disappointed by the decision to extradite Gary McKinnon.

“Quite simply, I think the Home Secretary got it wrong.”

Mr McKinnon’s lawyers are now seeking a judicial review of Mr Johnson’s decision.

Prosecutors in America allege Mr McKinnon, 43, caused nearly �500,000 worth of damage to military computers in 2001 and 2002.

Gary, who lives in North London, admits hacking but maintains he was looking for evidence of alien life.

His mother Janis Sharp, who lives in Brookmans Park, is seeking a judicial review into the decision.

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