Nasa hacker extradition to go ahead, minister says

Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US to face hacking charges is set to move forward, after home secretary Alan Johnson said he will not intervene.McKinnon's supporters had asked the minister to halt the extradition on the grounds that it would be a breach of McKinnon's human rights.

Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US to face hacking charges is set to move forward, after home secretary Alan Johnson said he will not intervene.

McKinnon's supporters had asked the minister to halt the extradition on the grounds that it would be a breach of McKinnon's human rights. They argued that the move would be inhuman treatment under the European Convention, as the Londoner has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, Johnson said he had carefully considered the fresh medical evidence presented to him, but had found that it was not "materially different" from that already considered by the high court and did not demonstrate a potential breach of McKinnon's human rights.

"As the courts have affirmed, I have no general discretion. If Mr McKinnon's human rights would be breached, I must stop the extradition. If they would not be breached, the extradition must go ahead," Johnson is quoted as saying.

The home secretary added that the US authorities had given him assurances that McKinnon's health and psychiatric needs would be met. He also said it was not likely that the hacker would be sent to a supermax prison.

McKinnon faces charges of hacking into US military computers, which could bring a sentence of up to 60 years.

McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, said in a Twitter post that her son's legal team will seek a judicial review of Johnson's decision within a week. She also expressed concern that the government might expedite the review to enable McKinnon to be sent to the US before Christmas.