Hacker lawyers: don't extradite

2009-07-14 18:06

London - Lawyers for a British man accused of hacking into US military computers say sending him to the US would violate his rights because he is autistic and would suffer unnecessarily if he were extradited.

US prosecutors say 43-year-old Gary McKinnon broke into 97 computers belonging to NASA, the Department of Defence and several branches of the military soon after the September 11 2001 attacks. McKinnon says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told the High Court on Tuesday that sending McKinnon to the US carried "an avoidable and unnecessary risk of serious psychological suffering".

At an earlier hearing, McKinnon's lawyers argued that he should not be extradited because he has a form of autism. Judges are due to rule on both points later this month.