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Janis Sharp hopes for positive news on McKinnon extradition

Signs point to good news for son
Mon Oct 15 2012, 15:37
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GARY MCKINNON'S MOTHER Janis Sharp is hoping for good news about the potential extradition of her son, telling The INQUIRER that she is optimistic.

"Because of the new opinion from the Home Office [psychologists] I am optimistic, but need to hear the words that will finally end Gary's nightmare," she said.

Sharp is referring to a report released by the Home Office last weekend that includes comments from its appointed psychiatrists, Professor Declan Murphy and Professor Fahy.

That report, which we have seen, shows that the government appointed experts now agree with McKinnon's own psychiatrists who have argued that he must stay in the UK.

Good news would put an end to a ten year nightmare for Sharp and her son, and the report agrees with previous findings that McKinnon is a suicide risk and has the emotional age of a child. Combined these would make him unfit for trial.

According to the report the delay in finding out his fate has taken its toll on McKinnon. "He is exceptionally susceptible and vulnerable to stress and has been severely traumatised by the protracted threat of extradition. He is currently too unwell to be able to effectively participate in any trial and may require many years of therapy before he is sufficiently rehabilitated to be able to stand trial," the report says.

"His mental disorder particularly, and severity of depression and anxiety, would impact on his capacity to stand trial and in my opinion on the balance of probabilities his mental state would amount to a disability in relation to his trial."

The report recommends that McKinnon be given a reprieve and some time to recover before answering to charges in the UK.

"He would need to be mentally competent to stand trial before the trial could proceed and in my opinion would need to be detained for a considerable period of time to determine whether or not he would regain the capacity to stand trial," wrote Dr Vermeulen.

"I strongly recommended that once he had recovered from his current ordeal, his trial take place in the UK... He is unable to properly instruct his solicitor. He will find it difficult to follow court proceedings."

There are other reasons that would seem to suggest that extradition is not the right result, including a number of cases where British citizens have been allowed to stay in the UK despite similar calls for them to be tried overseas, as well as that of alleged Lulzsec hacker Ryan Cleary, whose case is being heard in the UK.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May is due to announce tomorrow whether the government will extradite McKinnon. µ

 

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