Nasa hacker judgement day set

The high court judges that are deciding the outcome of two concurrent judicial reviews of the case of Gary McKinnon will give their decisions next week, on Friday 31 July.The date was revealed in a press statement on Friday by Karen Todner, McKinnon's solicitor.

The high court judges that are deciding the outcome of two concurrent judicial reviews of the case of Gary McKinnon will give their decisions next week, on Friday 31 July.

The date was revealed in a press statement on Friday by Karen Todner, McKinnon's solicitor.

McKinnon stands accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military hack of all time". The self-confessed hacker, who claims he accessed the US systems to search for evidence of UFOs, denies accusations of damage. McKinnon was diagnosed with having Asperger's Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum, last August.

One of the judicial reviews is to decide whether former home secretary Jacqui Smith was right in law to turn down McKinnon's second appeal for clemency. Smith was aware at the time of McKinnon's Asperger's diagnosis.

The second review is to decide whether the Crown Prosecution Service was right to decline to prosecute McKinnon in the UK. Had the CPS prosecuted McKinnon here, he would have avoided extradition.

The current US/UK extradition treaty was rushed through parliament in haste in the wake of 9/11. The treaty was pushed through by then-home secretary David Blunkett (the man who also brought us ID cards).

The treaty was supposed to be an anti-terrorist measure, and lowered the burden of proof that US prosecutors had to show to extradite UK citizens. No terrorist suspects have yet been extradited. Instead, the law has been used by the US to extradite those accused of other crimes, such as the Natwest 3.

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