Gary McKinnon: British hacker avoids extradition to the US

British hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the United States because he is a suicide risk.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced her decision in the House of Commons today, ending McKinnon’s decade-long battle to avoid trial in the United States over allegations he hacked into dozens of US military and NASA computers, the Associated Press reported.

The BBC reported that McKinnon, 46, suffered Asperger’s Syndrome and would have spent the rest of his life in a US jail if convicted.

According to The Telegraph, May told the British parliament that there was “no doubt” that McKinnon was “seriously ill” and extraditing him to the United States was “incompatible with his human rights.”

“I have concluded that Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life,” May was quoted as saying.

“I have therefore withdrawn the extradition order against Mr McKinnon.”

McKinnon had admitted breaking into 97 US government computers, but claimed he was looking for evidence of extraterrestrial life, CNN reported.

The BBC said McKinnon’s mother, Janis Sharp, thanked May for blocking her son’s extradition.

More from GlobalPost: The case of a hacker with Asperger's threatens the US-UK relationship


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