US 'must ditch plans to extradite Scots hacker'

PRESIDENT Barack Obama should use his UK state visit to scrap American attempts to extradite a British computer hacker, MPs were told yesterday.

Asperger's syndrome sufferer Gary McKinnon, 45, faces up to 60 years behind bars if he is tried in the US for hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers between February 2001 and March 2002 while searching, he claims, for evidence of "little green men".

The Americans continue to demand his extradition, despite medical experts warning he will kill himself if sent abroad. Glasgow-born McKinnon's case was raised yesterday with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg by his MP David Burrowes.

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Speaking at Commons questions, Mr Burrowes said: "When the Prime Minister visited America, President Obama said (that] because of the unsurpassed special relationship between our countries, an appropriate solution would be found.

"Can he assure me the case of Gary McKinnon is raised during the visit of the president and also that the 'appropriate solution' is to stop the extradition to the US?"

Mr Clegg said Home Secretary Theresa May was monitoring the situation, adding: "I can't anticipate exactly what is going to be said in meetings which haven't yet taken place.

"But I'm sure everybody who has been following this case with great interest will welcome the fact the Home Secretary has made it quite clear she has made herself available to listen to new representations from Gary McKinnon."