Gary McKinnon, known as Solo, has never denied that he hacked into 97 US military and Nasa computers from his London home in 2002. It was called the “biggest military computer hack of all time” and McKinnon was arrest – but never charged in the UK. He always claimed he did it because he was curious, and it was only due to the lax security that he was able to infiltrate the networks.
Now he’s taking his case against extradition to the final court of appeal – the House of Lords – claiming having to face trial in the US would breach his human rights.
In the High Court, McKinnon’s solicitors unsuccessfully argued that he’d face a lengthy pre-trial detention with no prospect of bail, and that his sentence could amount to over 45 years, and that he wouldn’t be allowed to serve any of it in the UK, but judges weren’t moved.
In this appeal, the Law Lords will examine supposed threats to McKinnon from US authorities, including one by a New Jersey prosecutor who reportedly told him he would “fry.” They also allege that the former FBI legal attache and a legal representative of the US government attempted to coerce him into waiving his extradition rights during 2003.
McKinnon’s solicitor, David Pannick, told the court:
"The US had attempted to secure [McKinnon’s] voluntary surrender and guilty pleas by plea bargain tactics that were coercive and involved threats regarding the duration of his sentence of imprisonment."
In the US he’s wanted for five counts of "fraud and related activity on government computers", as well as one other indictment, ZDNet reports.
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