McKinnon loses crucial judicial review
By Stuart Turton
Posted on 31 Jul 2009 at 11:02Gary McKinnon has lost the judicial review of his case, dealing a potentially fatal blow to his hopes of avoiding extradition to the US.
Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie dismissed the review at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The review had been assembled to determine whether the diagnosis of McKinnon's Asperger's Syndrome had any bearing on the Home Office's original decision to extradite him to the US. Asperger's sufferers often exhibit obsessive behaviour and social naivety, which McKinnon's lawyers have long offered as mitigation.
His legal team now has 28 days to appeal the verdict, and his lawyer, Karen Todners, has indicated they may consider taking his case before the US Supreme Court.
McKinnon stands accused of hacking into US systems 97 times, causing millions of dollars worth of damage. McKinnon claims he was merely looking for evidence of aliens - though he doesn't deny the hacking charges. If convicted he could face 70 years in jail.
The team was hoping the judicial review would overturn the extradition request, allowing him to stand trial in the UK where sentencing on computer crime is far more lenient. If convicted here, his maximum sentence is 10 years.
For a complete review of McKinnon's case so far read our feature.
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