Monday, January 12, 2009

McKinnon Would Plead Guilty in UK to Avoid U.S. Extradition

Gary McKinnon

Tom Espiner writes on C|Net News:

Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon has told U.K. prosecutors he will plead guilty to charges in the U.K., a move that could help him avoid extradition to the U.S.

McKinnon has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of "the biggest military hack of all time," after entering NASA and Pentagon systems. His solicitor, Karen Todner, sent a letter to Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, to say McKinnon would plead guilty if tried in the U.K. under the Computer Misuse Act (CMA). The letter was sent on December 23, Todner told ZDNet UK on Monday.

"Gary has committed offenses under the CMA, and has been diagnosed with Asperger's," said Todner. "I think it's time the DPP recognized that. Gary will plead guilty."

Todner said that under the CMA, McKinnon would receive a different sentence from the one he would receive if tried under U.S. law, as in the U.S. he would be prosecuted on charges of causing damage to military systems. She added that it is "generally accepted" McKinnon would receive a more lenient sentence in the U.K. The Londoner currently faces trial in the U.S., pending the outcome of an appeal to the High Court.

More here.


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