Belfast Telegraph

UUP peer in plea over ill hacker Gary McKinnon

An Ulster Unionist peer has urged the Government to put computer hacker Gary McKinnon out of his “psychological torture” amid reports of his worsening condition.

Mr McKinnon has spent the past seven years facing the threat of extradition to the US after he hacked into top secret military computers.

The 45-year-old, from Wood Green, north London, suffers from Asperger's syndrome and says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

His extradition has been delayed while Home Secretary Theresa May obtains up-to-date medical assessments about his condition.

The UUP’s Lord Maginnis of Drumglass told peers: “Is it not ironic that a Parliament that has voted against long detention of criminals should keep a young man suffering from Asperger's syndrome for over 3,300 days in psychological torture?”

Tory ex-MP Baroness Browning said: “When I met with Mr McKinnon's mother last week she informed me that his state of health deteriorates all the time.”

Lord Wallace of Saltaire, for the Home Office, said Ms May was looking for an assessment “by medical experts” but Mr McKinnon “has not yet granted medical consent for this to take place”.

But Lord Maginnis asked: “Is it not time the Home Office liaised with those who have expertise in terms of autism and asked for a list of people with expertise in that area, rather than rely on the ‘let's see what the Chief Medical Officer says'?”

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