Autistic hacker Gary McKinnon fighting for proper pretrial examination

United Kingdom, London : Gary McKinnon, who is accused of breaking into US government computer networks, is pictured outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London , 11 July 2006. (AFP Photo / John D Mchugh)
British hacker Gary McKinnon has refused a medical test to see if he’s fit for extradition to the US. His mother says the expert assigned to the case has no experience with Asperger's Syndrome, and extradition could cause McKinnon to commit suicide.

Gary McKinnon, 46, has admitted to hacking US military computer databases in a search of UFO evidence. But his interest is no excuse in the US, where he could face up to six decades behind bars if convicted.

He’s been fighting extradition since 2006. Last April, McKinnon's family had him examined by three leading Asperger's experts, who concluded that he wasn’t fit for trial due to a very high risk that he could take his own life.

At the last court hearing on July 5, judges were told Home Secretary Theresa May was “close” to making a decision on the matter, though she admitted to being “personally concerned” McKinnon wasn’t properly examined, giving his family until July 19 to agree to new state-administered tests.

Britain's National Autistic Society supported the McKinnon family's experts' report, and has recommended that the Home Office put new examiners on McKinnon's case.

Now, the Home Office says the matter will be discussed at the High Court on July 24.

McKinnon’s family says he has already lost ten years of his life to the extradition battle, and voiced hopes that he would be allowed to stay in Britain.

Dozens of British MPs from various political parties have formed a coalition to fight what they call a “one-sided” extradition policy with the US.

Drawn up in a post-9/11 panic, it allows Washington to demand any person it wants without having to provide any evidence and London has no other choice than to obey.