Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

MPs want UK jail time for hacker

Pro-McKinnon placard, PA
Supporters of Mr McKinnon have held protests in his name

UK MPs are calling for hacker Gary McKinnon to serve any sentence he receives in a British jail.

Mr McKinnon faces extradition to the US for breaking into American military networks between February 2001 and March 2002.

He trespassed on networks owned by Nasa, the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense.

If tried and convicted in a US court, Mr McKinnon could face decades of jail time, and millions of dollars in fines.

Medical notes

Despite taking his appeal to the House of Lords, Mr McKinnon lost a six-year legal battle to avoid extradition.

The European Court of Human Rights also declined to back Mr McKinnon's case against extradition.

Mr McKinnon is currently awaiting a decision by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith as to when the extradition process will begin.

In the interim, 20 UK MPs have signed an Early Day Motion which calls for any sentence imposed by a US court to be served in a British jail.

Drawn up by Shadow justice minister David Burrowes, who is Mr McKinnon's MP, the motion cites the practice of the Netherlands, and Israel, which routinely request that nationals suffering medical or mental problems are repatriated to serve their sentence.

It urged Jacqui Smith to delay extradition proceedings until she had won assurances from the US that Mr McKinnon, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, would be sent back to the UK to serve his sentence.

Mr Burrowes tabled the motion after receiving word from the Government that Mr McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's was not sufficient grounds for refusing the extradition order.

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