Self-confessed Nasa hacker Gary McKinnon has won a judicial review of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's October decision to carry on with his extradition to the US, even after McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome.
At the High Court in London this morning Lord Justice Maurice Kay ruled that there would be a judicial review of Smith's decision to turn down McKinnon's second appeal.
In a statement, Gary's mother Janis Sharp said she was "overjoyed".
"We are overjoyed that the British Courts have shown sense and compassion by allowing our son Gary, a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, this judicial review," said Sharp. "We have always been outraged by the Home Office's decision to have him extradited to stand trial in a foreign land where he would face an out-of-proportion sentence for what is essentially a crime of eccentricity."
McKinnon stands accused by US prosecutor's of "the biggest military hack of all time". The prosectuors allege that McKinnon caused $700,000 worth of damage by deleting files on various military systems in 2002. McKinnon has never denied hacking the systems, but denies causing damage. He claims to have been searching for evidence of UFOs, and later to have discovered evidence of anti-gravity projects.
Should McKinnon be tried by a US court, he could be sentenced to up to 70 years in a "supermax" maximum security gaol.
Were McKinnon to be extradited, he would suffer the risk of psychosis, and possibly become suicidal, autism expert Professor Simon Baron Cohen told ZDNet UK at a press conference last week. Professor Baron Cohen of Cambridge University diagnosed McKinnon with Asperger's, a condition on the autistic spectrum, last summer.
Smith turned down McKinnon's second appeal against extradition in October, after he had been diagnosed with Asperger's.