By Tom Espiner
15 Oct 2007
Gary McKinnon, the Briton who has admitted hacking into Nasa's computer
systems, has been given leave to appeal against extradition to the US.
McKinnon was granted leave on Thursday to appeal to the Law Lords, a
group of senior UK judges, on the grounds of the nature of plea
agreement discussions with representatives of the US authorities.
His appeal will be heard "sometime in the New Year", according to his
solicitors, Kaim Todner.
The US government wishes to try McKinnon on charges of unauthorised
access to Nasa's systems.
According to Kaim Todner, during the plea bargaining process between
November 2002 and April 2003, US government representatives attempted to
coerce McKinnon so he would not oppose extradition proceedings.
"The US representatives promised [McKinnon] a greatly reduced sentence
and that they would facilitate repatriation [if McKinnon co-operated],
but that if he opposes they would throw the book at him," said Jeff
Anderson, assistant to McKinnon's solicitor. "They said that were he
found guilty, he would be put in a super-maximum security facility in
Colorado, and spend much of his time in solitary confinement. They told
him he would fry."
Anderson said that the US authorities had later denied this claim.
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