There were fears that allowing the Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer to stay in Britain against the wishes of US authorities would create a legal precedent could be abused by terror suspects.
But new Home Secretary Theresa May has briefed the Prime Minister that he can halt extradition proceedings, opening up the possibility of Mr McKinnon being tried for his offence in the UK.
The Sunday Express has learned the development comes after the UK’s terrorism watchdog, Lord Carlile, assured the Government the case would not inadvertently create a loophole that could allow the likes of radical one-armed hate preacher Abu Hamza to avoid extradition to the US.
Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon, 44, faces up to 60 years in an American jail for hacking into Nasa and Pentagon computers in 2001 and 2002 whilst looking for evidence of UFOs.
His supporters, including family members, have repeatedly argued he should be allowed to stand trial in the UK as a result of his Asperger’s Syndrome.
A source close to the case told the Sunday Express: Home Secretary Theresa May has told David Cameron and Nick Clegg they do have the power to keep Gary here but the Government was worried that this might cause people such as Abu Hamza to have a loophole not to be extradited.
However Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of terror laws, has assured the Government that this would not affect what would happen to Abu Hamza as Gary’s case is an entirely different matter.
The judicial review into Gary McKinnon’s case was adjourned last month to allow further evidence to be examined.
Before coming to power, both Mr Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg had criticised Labour’s refusal to halt the hacker’s extradition proceedings.
Earlier this week, Mr McKinnon’s solicitor Karen Todner submitted up-to-date medical evidence to the Home Secretary.
His mother, Janis Sharp, has also written to Ms May and to Mr Clegg, now the Deputy Prime Minister, to explain that her son’s situation could not be faked by future terror suspects.
Hamza, already serving seven years in England for inciting murder and stirring up racial hatred, has also been fighting extradition to the US, on terror charges, since 2004.
His case is currently with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where he is arguing that he would ‘receive inhumane treatment’because he is a Muslim.
But Mrs Sharp said: I’ve just written to Theresa May to assure her that Gary’s circumstances could not simply be replicated by another accused person as Gary’s personal medical records and family history medical records have recorded relevant information that cannot be disputed.
I’ve also pointed out that people such as Abu Hamza may well not be extradited in any case as the European Court of Human Rights might refuse to extradite him to the US because of their concerns of how he might be viewed and treated in America because he is Muslim.
She added: We’re all very nervous at the moment and hoping for good news and that Gary will soon have his life back again.
The Home Office yesterday said it is currently considering representations from Mr McKinnon’s legal team submitted on Tuesday. A spokeswoman added: ‘It is not appropriate to speculate further at this stage.’http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/180683/David-Cameron-CAN-save-hacker-from…” title=”Send the link of this article by email”>
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