Limiting US jail time “no comfort” for Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon’s mother has warned that it’s too soon to celebrate after the Prime Minister raised the possibility of her son remaining in the UK.
McKinnon admits hacking into US Government computers, but his supporters say he should be tried in the UK, as the stress of a US trial and jail sentence would be too much for the Asperger’s sufferer to bear – an issues raised by Prime Minister David Cameron in a meeting with US President Barack Obama.
The only thing we see as any kind of solution is for Gary to be tried here in the UK and not extradited
Following a meeting between the two leaders on Tuesday, Cameron said that if there is a prison sentence, McKinnon could possibly serve some of it in the UK.
“That is one potential outcome and I’ll be working very hard to make sure that these things are discussed between the two governments,” he told the BBC. “If we can reach a settlement then all to the good. I don’t want to make a prediction because there are many difficult issues that have to be worked through.”
While she was pleased the discussion took place, McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp told PC Pro that serving any time in the US would be detrimental to his health.
“The only thing we see as any kind of solution is for Gary to be tried here in the UK and not extradited. Some newspapers are wrongly reporting the possibility of serving any sentence, or part of, in the UK, but that’s usually what happens so would not give us any comfort after our almost nine year fight to keep Gary in the UK.”
“The psychiatrist said that if Gary was extradited he would almost definitely take his own life and I’m sure our Government don’t want to effectively sign Gary’s death warrant,” she added.
“We are extremely pleased that Gary’s case was raised by David Cameron with President Obama and we are confident that as Gary has a pathological terror of travel, that they will do the right thing and allow Gary to be tried in the UK, which would end Gary’s almost nine years of trauma and terror,” she added.
Cameron and LibDem leader Nick Clegg both claimed they would fight to keep the North Londoner in the UK, but after the election Clegg suggested they may not have the power to do so.
Obama said at a press conference that the US president, by “tradition”, doesn’t get involved with extraditions, he said the “cooperative relationship” between the two countries could come into play.
“And I trust that this will get resolved in a way that underscores the seriousness of the issue, but also underscores the fact that we work together and we can find an appropriate solution,” Obama added.