Committee considers McKinnon extradition
Updated on 10 November 2009
The home secretary is due to answer questions about the possible extradition of Gary McKinnon who is wanted in the US for hacking into Pentagon computer systems.
43-year-old McKinnnon, who has Asperger syndrome, allegedly hacked into the computer systems of the Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks in New York.
He has claimed he was searching for reports of UFO sightings.
Last month the home secretary halted extradition proceedings against McKinnon - and said he would review new medical evidence before coming to a decision. Home Secretary Alan Johnson will now answer questions before a parliamentary committee this afternoon.
McKinnon could face up to 60 years in jail if he is convicted in the US.
Gary McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, who is also due to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee spoke to Samira Ahmed.
She said that she was glad Alan Johnson has agreed to look at the new evidence surrounding McKinnnon's case but questioned Britain's extradition policy.
"I'm hoping he'll tell us why we're the only country in the world that will extradite its own citizens which no evidence," she said.
"Gary committed this offence in 2002 in March before the expedition treaty, before the new one, was bought in.
"Doesn’t [Alan Johnson] agree that British people should have equal rights with Americans and to the rest of the world?
"A man from Romania hacked into the Pentagon and he was sentenced in Romania last year to eight month's imprisonment because Romania won't extradite their own - surly we should have equal rights with Romania at least?
"It's almost eight years now. Every second or every day Gary is in fear.
"It's very difficult to explain what that level of stress over that length of period does but you cannot shake it for an instant.
"It's destroyed Gary. He has become suicidal and unfortunately he's on medication, which I don’t like, but he has to because the alternative is so much worse.
"It has destroyed Gary and our family."