My son will never survive US trial, warns Scots-born hacker Gary McKinnon's mother
THE mother of the Scots-born computer hacker facing extradition to the United States has revealed that psychiatrists fear her son is now more likely to take his own life.
• Gary McKinnon and his mother, Janis Sharp, at a press conference held in a fresh attempt to prevent his extradition to the US. Picture: PA
Janis Sharp, mother of Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon, accused the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, of making a "cruel and miserable" decision not to halt the extradition of her son, who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism.
Extracts of a psychiatric report on the mental state of Mr McKinnon warned there was an "almost certain inevitability" that he would attempt to kill himself.
Professor Jeremy Turk, a consultant psychiatrist, gave a stark diagnosis of what would happen to the 43-year-old UFO obsessive if he was sent to face trial in the United States.
In his report, Prof Turk said Mr McKinnon has a "very serious Major Depressive Disorder... aggravated and complicated by anxiety and panic attacks with multiple psychosomatic symptoms on a background of his having Asperger's syndrome".
After the British government turned down Mr McKinnon's request to halt his extradition on medical grounds and to have his case heard at the new Supreme Court, Prof Turk concluded he was now "at an even higher risk of self harm and suicide", something he said was a "real probability".
On Thursday, Mr Johnson dashed the family's hopes that he would intervene on the basis of medical evidence.
Ms Sharp condemned the decision but vowed to fight on. "This is a cruel and miserable decision. If the severity of Gary's mental condition isn't sufficient to prevent his extradition, I can't imagine what is. God help others facing a similar fate."
She called for a review of extradition laws, adding: "The only people who won't get extradited are terrorists who face the death sentence, the very people this act was meant to be about.
"What bitter irony, Alan Johnson and this government should hang their heads in shame to force a peaceful, vulnerable, misguided UFO fanatic like Gary thousands of miles away from his much-needed support network."
Lawyers for Mr McKinnon have under a week to seek a judicial review or an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights.
If they are unsuccessful, Mr McKinnon could be deported before Christmas.
Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman, called for the British government to stand up to the US.
"The Home Secretary should stop being an American poodle and start being a British bulldog," he said. "It is appalling that this government places a higher value on a deeply unfair extradition agreement than it does on the welfare of a British citizen.
"Alan Johnson has shamefully turned down the opportunity to demonstrate his faith in British justice and save a vulnerable man from a lifetime in prison or worse. The Home Secretary must now step in and ensure that this sorry saga is ended once and for all by trying Gary McKinnon in this country."
Mr McKinnon faces up to 60 years in jail for hacking into Pentagon computers soon after the 9/11 terror attacks. He claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs.
Mark Summers, an official representing the United States government, told a London court that Mr McKinnon's hacking was "intentional and calculated to influence and affect the US government by intimidation and coercion".
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