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NASA hacker pushes for UK jail term

The solicitors of self-confessed NASA hacker Gary McKinnon have formally requested that the US give assurances thathe serve any prison term in the UK.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

The solicitors of self-confessed NASA hacker Gary McKinnon have formally requested that the US give assurances that he serve any prison term in the UK.

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In representations to UK home secretary Jacqui Smith, sent on Friday evening in Britain, McKinnon's solicitor Karen Todner said that McKinnon's being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome made the request appropriate.

"We have requested that the home secretary obtain an assurance from the United States government that Mr McKinnon be returned to the UK immediately on receiving a sentence in the US, should he be extradited," stated Todner.

Todner went on to say that it was standard practice for both the Dutch and Israeli governments to seek and gain this assurance on behalf of their nationals who face extradition to the US.

On Thursday in the UK the European Court of Human Rights denied McKinnon an appeal not to be extradited to the US on humanitarian grounds. McKinnon now faces extradition on charges of hacking NASA and US military computer systems. If found guilty he faces a maximum 60-year jail term.

A protest against McKinnon's extradition has been organised for Tuesday 2 September outside the Home Office, according to the Free Gary McKinnon website.

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