UK hacker granted short extension in extradition case

Gary McKinnon could face extradition to the U.S. soon without court intervention

The U.K. government will give a British hacker a short extension to challenge an extradition order to face trial in the U.S.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said last Thursday he would not intervene to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon on medical grounds. McKinnon has admitted to hacking into U.S. military computers as well as others from his girlfriend's north London home in 2001 and 2002.

McKinnon's attorneys then had seven days to file judicial review proceedings but requested an extension until Dec. 17. The Home Secretary's office on Wednesday granted an extension until Dec. 10.

McKinnon suffers from depression and Asperger's Syndrome, a neurological disorder related to autism characterized by deficiencies in social interaction.

McKinnon was indicted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2002 and could face up to 60 years in prison.

The U.K. government approved McKinnon's extradition in 2006. The U.K. decided not to prosecute McKinnon since most of the evidence and witnesses are located in the U.S.

McKinnon's attorney have argued that he should be tried in the U.K. due to his medical condition and have characterized his mental state as fragile and said that he could be a possible suicide risk.

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