By Ambrose McNevin
11 Jun 2008
The fate of UK hacker Gary McKinnon will be considered next week when he
appears before the House of Lords on Monday (16 June).
In a case going back to 2002, McKinnon is appealing against his
extradition to the US under hacking charges.
McKinnon told Computing he is fighting the extradition, despite claiming
that he would have voluntarily presented himself to a US court were it
not for the high-pressure tactics used by the Americans.
He claimed that US authorities verbally offered him a plea bargain with
the minimum sentence of four years, but that they refused to confirm it
in writing and have now said they want to prosecute him to the maximum
level. McKinnon said one US prosecutor said the US wants to see him
Former home secretary John Reid signed the extradition order on
McKinnon, who has not denied hacking into US computer systems, including
some of those mentioned in the American indictment. But he claims he was
never a threat to security as he broke into Nasa and US defence
computers to look for evidence of the existence of UFOs.
McKinnon said the legal basis for his appeal was that the extradition
treaty under which he is to be sent to the US has not been ratified by
the American government.
His defence team has two hours to present his case to five law Lords. A
decision is expected within three weeks of the hearing.
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