Nasa hacker wins two week reprieve

News by Andrew Donoghue

A European court has intervened in Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US

A European court has intervened in Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US


British hacker Gary McKinnon has been given a temporary reprieve by a European Court but still faces extradition later this month.


Last month, the so-called Nasa hacker lost his battle against extradition in the House of Lords. If convicted of the charges brought against him by US authorities, McKinnon could face up to 70 years in jail.


But this week, it was revealed that McKinnon will remain in the UK until at least the 28 August when his case will be examined by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).


According to a statement on a site maintained by McKinnon's supporters,, the ECHR will examine the case at its next meeting. “On 12 August 2008 the Acting President of the Chamber to which the case has been allocated decided to indicate to the Government of the United Kingdom, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that the applicant should not be extradited to the United States before midnight on 29 August 2008. This was in order to allow the Chamber to examine the request at the earliest opportunity, namely at its meeting on 28 August 2008.”


A US court indicted McKinnon, 42, in November 2002, when it was alleged that he accessed more than 90 computers belonging to NASA and the Pentagon, causing damage costing around $900,000 (£450,000).


McKinnon, a self-proclaimed ‘computer nerd' claimed he was searching for information on UFOs when he illegally accessed Nasa and Pentagon systems.


MacKinnon claims that the existence of UFOs is kept secret by a process of ridicule. "Yet, some of the world's greatest problems could be solved. The oil-based economy would be out the window," he told SC Magazine in an interview in 2007.


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