Clegg does u-turn on McKinnon extradition

Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon

originally published by:
26th May 2010

In a dramatic U-turn, Nick Clegg yesterday said the Government may have no power to prevent the extradition of hacker Gary McKinnon to the US.

The Liberal Democrat leader’s comments came in a radio interview on Five Live. It’s the first time Clegg has waded in on the case since becoming Deputy Prime Minister at the recent general election.

His comments came as a shock to supporters of the computer hacker, who had been heartened by the recent adjournment of extradition hearings.

Last week, Home Secretary Theresa May called a temporary halt to proceedings while she considers new medical evidence suggesting that Asperger’s sufferer McKinnon, who broke into Pentagon and NASA computers looking for “little green men”, will kill himself if forced to stand trial in the US.

Clegg’s intervention also appears to completely reverse his position on the case. While in opposition, Clegg had argued fiercely that ministers could use the Human Rights Act to halt McKinnon’s extradition to the US, where he faces up to 60 years in jail.

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