Johnson under pressure over hacker

Author: By Jerome Taylor

The Welsh Secretary refused three times to back the decision of his
ministerial colleague that Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, should
be extradited to the US. Mr Hain said that the self-confessed hacker should
be tried “in a British context” instead.

Mr Johnson has claimed that it would be illegal to stop Mr McKinnon’s
extradition on charges relating to a series of hacks on American military
computers in 2001 and 2002. But a number of legal experts have disputed this
claim.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Hain said: “I would have preferred it if I had
been in the position to have a say on this ? and the law is just following
its course ? to have had the Director of Public Prosecutions (Keir Starmer)
make this decision. We could then have had a position where it could have
been assessed in a British context ? after all, he was sitting in his
bedroom by a computer, as a kind of computer geek zapping the American
defence system and therefore he was committing an offence on British soil.”

Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis also hit out at the Home Secretary yesterday after
he wrote in a Sunday newspaper that Mr McKinnon was accused of “serious
crimes” allegedly carried out “shortly after the attacks of 9/11 which
killed nearly 3,000 US citizens”.

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