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US government is disappointed by Gary McKinnon extradition decision

US hoped Theresa May would comply with its demand
Wed Oct 17 2012, 11:55
Garden view of the front of the White House

THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT has said it is "disappointed" with UK Home Secretary Theresa May's decision not to proceed with the extradition of Gary McKinnon.

The announcement on Tuesday finally brought to a close the decade-long legal wrangling over whether McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, would be sent to the US to stand trial, after he allegedly hacked into US government computers in 2002.

In response to the UK government's decision, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said it had hoped she would follow the precedent set by previous governments.

"The US is disappointed by the UK home secretary's decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon, particularly given the past decisions of the UK courts and prior home secretaries that he should face trial in the US," it said.

"We note that the home secretary has described this case as exceptional and, thus, this decision does not set a precedent for future cases."

The DoJ also hinted that it hoped McKinnon would still be tried for his crimes in the UK.

"The home secretary has acknowledged that Mr McKinnon is accused of serious crimes and that the UK's director of public prosecutions will now consider whether Mr McKinnon has a case to answer in a UK court," it said.

McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp said on Tuesday that the family accepted that the case might now be heard in the UK courts, but said that was all the family ever asked for, in order to avoid her son being sent to the US.

Sharp spoke tearfully on Tuesday at the relief she felt when the decision was announced by May in the House of Commons, and thanked the many supporters who had rallied around her and her son during the 10-year campaign. µ


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