McKinnon's mother 'overwhelmed'

McKinnon's mother 'overwhelmed'

Gary McKinnon has won his 10-year battle against extradition to the United States on human rights grounds

Janis Sharp says she is overwhelmed by Theresa May's decision to halt her son's extradition to the United States

First published in National News © by

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon's 10-year fight against extradition to the United States was an "emotional rollercoaster", his mother has said.

Janis Sharp said she was "overwhelmed" after Home Secretary Theresa May used the Human Rights Act to halt her son's extradition to the US.

Mr McKinnon was accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military computer hack of all time", but he claims he was simply looking for evidence of UFOs. It will now be for the director of public prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer QC to decide whether Mr McKinnon should face charges in the UK.

Mr McKinnon's lawyer Karen Todner said it was "a great day for British justice" and added that she hoped the DPP "might consider that Gary has suffered enough".

Edward Fitzgerald QC, who represented Mr McKinnon, praised Mrs May for using the Human Rights Act to halt the extradition. He said: "It was only thanks to the Human Rights Act that she had the power to stop this extradition."

David Burrowes, Mr McKinnon's MP, said: "It's a life that's been given back to Gary in a long dark tunnel that is 10 years. This must never happen again."

Ms Sharp said her 46-year-old son could not speak when he heard the news because he was so emotional. Asked about the possibility of a trial in the UK, she added: "He's lost 10 years of his life, but if this happens as well, we can deal with that."

It was "amazing" to see her son smile for the first time in years, Ms Sharp said.

Ms Todner added that Mr McKinnon has "done more than his sentence, in my view, but obviously that's a decision for Keir Starmer".

Medical evidence may even suggest that he is unfit to enter a plea, she said.

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