PDA

View Full Version : The Case of Gary McKinnon



Peter Presland
07-28-2009, 10:25 AM
Most here are probably unaware of this case (http://www.anniemachon.com/annie_machon/2009/07/ive-been-following-the-case-of-poor-gary-mckinnon-for-years-now-in-a-sort-of-long-distance-way-but-we-are-now-in-the-final-t.html). It's been dragging on for years now. An extraordinary example of the blind vindictiveness of the US so called 'Justice System' when it comes to matters of alleged 'National Security'. If anything Gary McKinnon should be awarded a medal by the US for exposing the then ludicrous lack of anything approaching security measure against unauthorised access to what they allege are some of the countries most sensitive and secret systems. He even left a message suggesting they should think about it. Their response?

Well read about here (http://www.anniemachon.com/annie_machon/2009/07/ive-been-following-the-case-of-poor-gary-mckinnon-for-years-now-in-a-sort-of-long-distance-way-but-we-are-now-in-the-final-t.html). It's from David Shayler's ex - Annie Machon - and is as good a summary as your likely to see.

Also support for Gary wouldn't go amiss (http://freegary.org.uk/)

I've been following the extraordinary case (http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=13&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FGary_Mc Kinnon&ei=bK9tSs3BL9u1sga03qiBBw&usg=AFQjCNEGJfWECTXVsWQE99DGgYag_ZiWzA&sig2=XEtSZLO7ZqVEH_GVFla5BA) of Gary McKinnon for years now in a long range kind of way, but we are now in the final throes of his prolonged fight against extradition to the USA, and he needs all the support we can give him. The Daily Mail recently started a campaign (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1197199/MAIL-COMMENT-In-compassion-Britain-reverse-shameful-decision.html) against his extradition: it's not often I agree with the Wail, but I'm wholeheartedly in favour of this initiative. For those of you who have been living in a bunker for the last 7 years, Gary McKinnon is the self-confessed geek who went looking for evidence of UFOs and ETs on some of America's most secret computer systems at the Pentagon and NASA.
And, when I say secret, obviously I don't mean in the sense of encrypted or protected. The Yanks obviously didn't feel that their national defence warrants even cursory protection, as Gary didn't have to hack his way in past multiple layers of protection. Apparently the systems didn't even have passwords.
Gary, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, is no super hacker. Using a basic PC and a dial-up connection in his bedroom, he managed to sneak a peek at the Pentagon computers, before kindly leaving a message that the US military might like to have a think about a little bit of basic internet security. Hardly the work of a malignant, international cyber-terrorist.
UK police investigated Gary soon after this episode, way back in 2002. All he faced, under the UK's 1990 Computer Misuse Act, would have been a bit of community service if he'd been convicted. Even that was moot, as the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute.
And that, as they say, should have been that.
However, in 2003 the UK government passed yet another draconian piece of law in response to the "war on terror" - the Extradition Act (http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fco.gov.uk%2Fresources%2Fen%2 Fpdf%2Fpdf8%2Ffco_pdf_usextraditiontreaty&ei=usFtSvaEEsKJsAbo0MWBBw&usg=AFQjCNFYnRPA19N6zTUcZS9i-v5eSJeuBQ&sig2=cAQ6wf_gS9ZC23Lk_l1N5w). Under this invidious, one-sided law, the US authorities can demand the extradition to America of any British citizen, without presenting any evidence of the crime for which they are wanted. Needless to say, this arrangement only works one way: if the Brits want to extradite a suspect from the US they still have to present prima facie evidence of a crime to an American court. The Act (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/16/extradition-gary-mackinnon-justice) also enshrines the questionable European arrest warrant system in British law.
So how on earth did the half-wits in Parliament come to pass such an awful law? Were they too busy totting up their expense fiddles to notice that they were signing away British sovereignty? This law means that it is easier for a US court to get a Brit in the dock than it is for them to get a US citizen from another state. In the latter case, evidence is still also required.
Let's get this straight. The UK authorities decided not to prosecute in this country. Even if they had, Gary would probably have been sentenced to community service. However, if he is extradited, he will get up to 70 years (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1189651/Can-harmless-UFO-obsessive-Gary-McKinnon-saved-70-years-brutal-American-jail.html) in a maximum security prison in the US.
So a year after Gary's bedroom hack, and after the CPS had decided there was no case to answer, the US authorities demanded Gary's extradition retroactively. The UK government, rather than protecting a British citizen, basically said "Yes, have him!". Gary has been fighting the case ever since.
http://www.anniemachon.com/.a/6a00e550903031883301157147c5f0970c-120wi (http://www.anniemachon.com/.a/6a00e550903031883301157147c5f0970c-popup)He has not been alone. Many people from across the political spectrum (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198715/The-extradition-Gary-McKinnon-brutal-mad-wrong-says-Boris-Johnson.html) see this unilateral law as invidious. And the government reckoned without his mum. Janis Sharp has fought valiantly and indefatigably to protect her son from this unjust extradition. She has lobbied MPs, talked to newspapers (http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=2&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardian.co.uk%2Fcommentisfre e%2F2008%2Fsep%2F22%2Fhacking.usa&ei=scJtSoGXFJOKnQPe_fiKDg&usg=AFQjCNE3SEGB2I_XT86w7bjwJW1X9jOobQ&sig2=yTx6VVdqHCIJQ45tw_ldjQ), gained the support of many public and celebrity (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1199512/Sir-Bob-Geldof-joins-rock-stars-record-song-appeal-stop-extradition-Gary-McKinnon.html) figures. She even recently met the PM's wife, Sarah Brown, who was reportedly (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1197385/Sarah-Browns-tears-Gary-McKinnon.html) in tears for Gary. Yet still the majority of the parliamentary half-wits refuse to do anything.
In fact, it gets worse. Over the last few years many MPs have signed Early Day Motions supporting Gary's fight against extradition. But in a recent debate in the House of Commons about the need to revise the provisions of the Extradition Act, 74 of these MPs betrayed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jul/17/extradition-usa) him and voted for the government to keep the Act in place. Only 10 Labour MPs stuck to their guns and defied the party Whip. One Labour MP, Andrew MacKinley (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1202038/Labour-MP-resigns-fury-Gary-McKinnon-Veteran-stood-Aspergers-victim-quits-colleagues-hypocrisy.html), will stand down at the next election in protest at this hypocrisy.
This week is crunch time: on Friday a final judicial ruling will be made about the case. It was the last throw of the legal dice for Gary. If this fails, he will have to rely on political intervention (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1201259/You-CAN-help-Gary-McKinnon-lawyers-tell-Home-Secretary-Alan-Johnson.html), which is possible (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1197702/Terror-law-boss-backs-Gary-McKinnons-fight-New-support-Aspergers-victim-facing-extradition.html), to prevent his harmful, unjust and unnecessary extradition to the USA. Please visit the Free Gary website (http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=9&url=http%3A%2F%2Ffreegary.org.uk%2F&ei=bK9tSs3BL9u1sga03qiBBw&usg=AFQjCNFdQwUFAj4aUBKlmL2LR_LEPtkHhA&sig2=KfFI4Hy_uCLbI5LBiIbbIw) and do all you can in support.

Magda Hassan
07-28-2009, 12:30 PM
I was just thinking about this about a week ago. It is sheer bloody mindedness what they are doing to this man. I hope they see sense and drop it as they should have never started this. He is obviously no 'terrorist'.

Magda Hassan
08-01-2009, 12:34 AM
He has lost his appeal. He can make a personal plea to the PM. I wonder if they will roll over and have their tummy scratched for their US masters as is usual, or if they will support their citizen?

I might never see him again: Mother of Gary McKinnon pleads for mercy from Obama after hacker loses extradition fight

By Daily Mail Reporter (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Daily+Mail+Reporter)
Last updated at 4:59 PM on 31st July 2009
The mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon made an impassioned appeal to US president Barack Obama today after her son failed in his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to America.

The 43-year-old, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome (AS), is wanted for trial on charges of hacking into US military networks.

His mother, Janis Sharp, has expressed fears that he could face a 60-year sentence in a tough US jail and would be at real risk of suicide because of his medical condition. She also fears she would never see him again.

But today Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting in London, dismissed his claim for judicial review.
The Daily Mail has led a high-profile campaign to prevent Mr McKinnon's extradition which has received widespread backing from politicians, celebrities and civil liberties campaigners.



Janis Sharp, with Sting's wife Trudie Styler (left), outside the High Court. She has vowed to take her son's case to the European Court


Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, North London, asked the court to overturn decisions of successive Home Secretaries allowing his extradition to go ahead.
He also challenged a refusal by Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), to put him on trial in the UK on charges of computer misuse. UK trial would allow him to avoid extradition.
Lord Justice Burnton said: 'For the reasons set out in the judgment the claims against the secretary of state and DPP are dismissed.'






Join the campaign to prevent Gary McKinnon's extradition to the U.S. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1165337/Sign-Mail-Sunday-petition.html)


In a 41-page ruling, the judges said extradition was 'a lawful and proportionate response to his offending'.
Whether or not Mr McKinnon can appeal further will be decided at a later date.
Lord Justice Burnton said it was a matter that should be dealt with 'as expeditiously as possible', probably in September.
Mr McKinnon was not in court today to hear the judgment.

Gary McKinnon, 43, today lost his appeal against extradition to the U.S.

Ms Sharp, said outside court: 'We are heartbroken. If the law says it's fair to destroy someone's life in this way then it's a bad law.'
She added: 'Our hope still lies with the Government. What more evidence do Gordon Brown and Alan Johnson need to understand what extraditing Gary would do to him, let alone us?
'Gary would not survive and I would never see my son again. All to oblige the Americans?
'If Gary's was such a dreadful crime, he should have been prosecuted and sentenced here years ago.
'Instead he's been left tortured by fear for seven years. Compassion can and must now prevail.'
She made an impassioned appeal to Barack Obama to halt attempts to extradite her son.
His lawyers today sent a letter to the U.S. President signed by 40 British MPs asking him to step in and 'bring this shameful episode to an end'.
She said: 'Stand by us and make this world a better place, a more compassionate place.


'Obama wouldn't have this. He doesn't want the first guy extradited for computer misuse to be a guy with Asperger's, a UFO guy. He wouldn't want this.
'I'm just praying, please hear us, Obama, because I know you would do the right thing.
'I know you would have the strength to stand up and not have this.'
Lawyers for Mr McKinnon, who was told the decision yesterday, described him as an 'UFO eccentric' who had been searching for evidence of extra-terrestrial life, and described the idea that he was a danger to U.S. national security as 'a complete fantasy'.
Karen Todner, Mr McKinnon's solicitor, said: 'This ruling is hugely disappointing. But we shall not stop here.
'Alan Johnson still has the power to act. We have 28 days to review the judgment and will continue to explore every legal avenue until we achieve a just and proper result.
'The Government promised "ample protection" of individuals' rights, but we have yet to see this in practice.
'Extradition without effective safeguards is a denial of justice for every UK citizen.'


If sent to the U.S., Mr McKinnon is likely to receive a substantial prison sentence of up to 12 years, possibly served in a Supermax prison used for high risk inmates, and is unlikely to be repatriated to serve his sentence.
The U.S. authorities said Mr McKinnon was responsible for the 'biggest military hack of all time' that had been highly damaging and involved 97 government computers belonging to organisations including the U.S. Navy and Nasa.
A large campaign involving family, politicians, civil rights groups, sympathetic media and celebrities has supported the hacker's long battle against extradition.
The National Autistic Society, which has supported him, said it was 'extremely disappointed at the decision'.


Janis Sharp, Gary's mother, says she fears her son will not survive if he is extradited to the U.S. and called on President Obama to intervene

Amanda Batten, the charity's head of policy and campaigns, said outside the High Court: 'We are angry that Gary is still in this position.
'This legal case has been going on for seven years. We are involved in supporting his case because we think that in the light of his Asperger's syndrome that extradition should not go ahead.
'We will continue campaigning and do all we can to support Gary to stay in the UK.'

Mr Johnson's own terror adviser, Lord Carlile, and eminent human rights lawyers have warned against sending him across the Atlantic under a controversial U.S./UK treaty ostensibly introduced to combat terrorism.
The Home Secretary snubbed a plea by Gary's mother for a face-to-face meeting but Mrs Sharp said: 'Mr Johnson can, and must intervene. It's an absolute.
'He's ignoring the best legal advice in the land, even his own adviser on terror is saying "don't send Gary." It just seems ridiculous.'
Support for Gary has poured in after the Daily Mail launched its 'Affront to British Justice' campaign - with tens of thousands of readers petitioning the Home Secretary to use his discretion and intervene - and ministers will be braced for a public backlash if he loses the High Court appeals.
A raft of leading politicians, including Tory leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, along with many high-profile celebrities are backing the fight to stop his extradition on 'cyber-terrorism' charges.
Actress and environmental campaigner Trudie Styler, wife of pop star Sting, who was present in court, said afterwards: 'My heart goes out to Gary, Janis and all those who have fought so hard.
'Reason and common sense dictate that Gary's extradition would be abhorrent.
'We cannot let this be the end of the road. It is quite clear that Gary is a deeply vulnerable man, ill-equipped to cope with the trauma of extradition.
'I am determined to continue to press government to intervene in this blatant travesty of justice.'
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: 'This is very disappointing news. People are right to be extremely concerned about our extradition arrangements.
'This is a case where there is a clear argument for it to be tried in this country, and our system should take health issues into account before considering deportation. I hope lessons will be learned.'
Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: 'This is a profoundly disappointing decision.
'The people who should hang their heads in shame are the members of the Government who negotiated an extradition treaty with the United States which places British citizens in a much weaker position than their American counterparts.
'If this was happening in America there would be a public outcry and Congress would be moving might and main to prevent it.'

Earlier this week analysis by the Liberal Democrats revealed that the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against any British citizen wanted by the Americans for extradition.
Courts in the UK approve 89 per cent of U.S. extradition requests compared to only seven in ten requests by the British authorities that are granted by the Americans.
Under the controversial act the U.S. can demand a Briton's extradition without having to prove any evidence while Britain has to prove its case in a U.S. court.

Peter Presland
10-09-2009, 10:30 AM
Gary has been refused leave to appeal to the High Court. Note the reason - "not important enough".

That leaves Strasbourg.

The fawning cap-doffing obedience of the UK authorities in this case make me sick - seriously sick. Gary did the US military a BIG favour by demonstrating their amateur to non-existent sites security, then actually sent them an email to tell them about it! They should be awarding him a public service medal. Instead, nasty pompous viscous morons that they are, they are determined to have their pound of flesh - then some.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has been refused permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to the US.
The High Court ruled the case was not of "general public importance" to go to the UK's highest court.
Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon, 43, of Wood Green, London, is accused of breaking into the US's military computer system.
Mr Mickinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, insists he was just seeking evidence of UFOs.
In July he lost a High Court bid to avoid extradition.
'Sacrificial lambs'
Mr McKinnon could face 60 years in prison if convicted in the US.
His lawyers have said they may now take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
They argue that extradition of their client would have "disastrous consequences" for his health, including possible psychosis and suicide.
Mr McKinnon had challenged the refusal of Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, to put him on trial in the UK on charges of computer misuse - which would have allowed him to avoid extradition.
Reacting after the latest ruling, his mother Janis Sharp said no other country would offer its citizens to the US so readily "as sacrificial lambs" just to safeguard the special political relationship.
She said: "To use my desperately vulnerable son in this way is despicable, immoral and devoid of humanity."

David Guyatt
10-09-2009, 02:57 PM
The fawning cap-doffing obedience of the UK authorities in this case make me sick - seriously sick.

Me too.

Sooner, rather than later, we in the UK need to take back our Sovereignty and stop being the toadies we always are to Washington, which I am sure was given simply in order to ensure US intelligence sharing was not harmed in any way.

Bugger them.

Magda Hassan
10-09-2009, 11:57 PM
Sooner, rather than later, we in the UK need to take back our Sovereignty....
And give it back to the British branch of the German royal family where it belongs :bandit:

David Guyatt
10-10-2009, 08:05 AM
Sooner, rather than later, we in the UK need to take back our Sovereignty....
And give it back to the British branch of the German royal family where it belongs :bandit:

Our Royals are wunderbar Englisher people ya.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh169/Shoestring99/wearequeenelizabeth.jpg

Keith Millea
10-10-2009, 05:21 PM
Sooner, rather than later, we in the UK need to take back our Sovereignty....
And give it back to the British branch of the German royal family where it belongs :bandit:

Our Royals are wunderbar Englisher people ya.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh169/Shoestring99/wearequeenelizabeth.jpg

I honestly don't know who that lady is,but someone please tell her she's too early for Halloween.:flute:

Helen Reyes
10-10-2009, 07:52 PM
Sooner, rather than later, we in the UK need to take back our Sovereignty....
And give it back to the British branch of the German royal family where it belongs :bandit:

Our Royals are wunderbar Englisher people ya.



I honestly don't know who that lady is,but someone please tell her she's too early for Halloween.:flute:

Isn't that Katherine Hepburn playing Victoria I, the "Smelly Queen"?

If McKinnon's lawyers have any sense, they'll argue, truthfully, that their client could be executed in the United States under the Patriot Act.

I think appeals to GB would fall on deaf ears, he invoked some terrorism act against the banks and people of Iceland for lost deposits. I also think the US intends to debrief McKinnon on what he saw. What did he see? He saw some classified NSA space station and airbrushed versions of the same NASA photo. He also managed to get documents on a US space fleet from a supposedly secure discrete NSA node, some lunar antenna array called LUMATRA.

Why does it matter? Probably the US is afraid he saw US nukes in space and stuff about 911. This is all conjecture on my part of course.

David Guyatt
10-11-2009, 08:59 AM
That lady is Margaret Thatchler who, when in power, thought she was Her Royal Highness...

Helen Reyes
10-11-2009, 02:52 PM
That lady is Margaret Thatcher who, when in power, thought she was Her Royal Highness...

Ah right. Who was the female monarch who wore a white death masque constantly and bathed annually? Elizabeth I?

David Guyatt
11-12-2009, 06:22 PM
Good news. Maybe. At lest there is a recognition that "serious"... "inequalities" exist in the US UK extradition agreement.

But will Parliament have the clout to reign in Downing Street (assuming they really want to and are not just talking the talk?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8357417.stm


MPs want hacker transfer halted

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46136000/jpg/_46136820_mckinnon-pa-226.jpg

The extradition to the US of computer hacker Gary McKinnon should be halted owing to his "precarious state of mental health", MPs say.

The Home Affairs Committee also said there was a "serious lack of equality" in US-UK extradition arrangements.

But the Home Office said there was "no imbalance" and no need for a review.

Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, is accused of breaking into the US military computer system but says he was just seeking UFO evidence.

The Glasgow-born 43-year-old, now of Wood Green, north London, faces 60 years in prison if convicted in the US.

'Lack of equality'

The Commons committee is conducting an inquiry into the US-UK extradition treaty, which critics say does not treat American and British citizens equally.

A letter, from committee chairman Keith Vaz to Home Secretary Alan Johnson, said the MPs had received "clear, legal opinion" from two lawyers that the home secretary had greater scope to exercise his discretion in Mr McKinnon's case than the minister believed.

The letter urged Mr Johnson to "comprehensively review" the operation of US-UK extraditions and "exercise your discretion in this case".

There was a "serious lack of equality" in the way the extradition treaty deals with UK citizens compared with US citizens, the letter added.

But in response, a Home Office statement said: "There is no imbalance in the extradition arrangements between the UK and the US.

At this stage in the case the sole issue is whether extradition would, or would not, breach Mr McKinnon's human rights
Home Office statement
"As the home secretary told the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, the evidence that must be provided for a US extradition request to proceed in the UK is in practice the same as for a UK request to proceed in the US."

It added: "The suggestion that the operation of the Extradition Act needs to be reviewed comprehensively is unnecessary."

The home secretary is in the process of looking at new medical evidence on Mr McKinnon, which Mr Johnson has said he will consider "very carefully" before approving extradition.

He has also said he wants to give Mr McKinnon's lawyers time to examine medical reports and make legal representations to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

But the Home Office statement pointed out that the home secretary had "no general discretion to refuse extradition".

"At this stage in the case the sole issue is whether extradition would, or would not, breach Mr McKinnon's human rights," it said.

"Unless the evidence shows that extradition would breach the European Convention on Human Rights it would be unlawful to refuse extradition."

'Lives ruined'

Mr McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, has said her son "would rather be dead than extradited".

Appearing before the Home Affairs Committee earlier in the week, she said: "We were told this treaty was to be used mainly for terrorists.

"People like Gary are not terrorists. We should stand up to America and say, 'This is wrong.'

"This has ruined Gary's life. It's ruined our lives," she said.

Mr Johnson responded by insisting that the US had a "proper, mature legal system".

"It's almost as if you are talking about an enemy state," he said.

"In a world of international crime where criminals cross borders much more frequently, then you need to have proper arrangements in place.

"Extradition is not a statement of guilt or innocence. It's quite proper for the US to ask to bring over people who have committed crimes against their country."

David Guyatt
11-12-2009, 06:28 PM
That lady is Margaret Thatcher who, when in power, thought she was Her Royal Highness...

Ah right. Who was the female monarch who wore a white death masque constantly and bathed annually? Elizabeth I?

Possibly Liz 1 but personally I opt for Danny La Rue OBE

http://obit-mag.com/media/image/danny_la_rue.jpg

But it does sound like Thatcher to be perfectly honest.

PS, apologies for not responding earlier Helen. I have only just seen this.

Magda Hassan
11-13-2009, 12:10 PM
Danny La Rue was always my favorite queen of England.

On a lighter note I see some MPs have found their back bone and will try to represent their poor abused citizen, Gary McKinnon. I do hope it works out well for him in the end. He should never have been in this position in the first place.

David Guyatt
11-27-2009, 10:51 AM
THe impression I have is that pubic opinion is outraged about this case (I certainly am anyway). In light of this and with a General Election on the near horizon the Home Secretary's decision not to take a stand is, imo, extraordinary.

Might it be, I wonder, a message of fear that the government are committed to sending to the public? Anyone who fucks with Uncle will be punished by Uncle. I can see the Bush Administration adhering to this revengeful line of reasoning but that it continues to extend into the Obama Administration unchanged, suggests that greater forces are at play here. Possibly the military intelligence community?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8382066.stm


Hacker to appeal over extradition

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46063000/jpg/_46063462_006751490-1.jpg

The "devastated" lawyers for computer hacker Gary McKinnon are to challenge the home secretary's decision not to block his extradition to the US.

They said they would make a last-ditch attempt after Alan Johnson said medical grounds could not prevent it.

Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon, 43, who has Asperger's syndrome, is accused of breaking into US military computers. He says he was seeking UFO evidence.

Now of Wood Green, London, he faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

'American poodle'

His lawyer, Karen Todner, said: "It's a devastating blow but we are not going to give up. We are certainly coming to the end of the road.

"We're just hoping at some point someone sees sense and steps in. All the legal team do know is we cannot give up because in some ways it's like dealing with a death row case, and we genuinely believe that Gary's life is at stake here."

She said she would issue judicial review proceedings next week - a process she said she was given just seven days to complete, rather than the more normal three months.

If that failed, they would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, she added.

Mr Johnson said he had carefully considered the representations but concluded that sending Mr McKinnon to the US would not breach his human rights.

"Due to legitimate concerns over Mr McKinnon's health, we have sought and received assurances from the United States authorities that his needs will be met," he said.

But Ms Todner said he had gone against independent legal advice which said he could have used his discretion.

Mr McKinnon admits hacking into 97 US government computers, including Nasa's and the Pentagon's, during 2001 and 2002.

The shoddy treatment of this vulnerable man should demonstrate that our rotten extradition laws need urgent reform

Shami Chakrabarti Liberty
He has told the BBC he was on a "moral crusade" to prove US intelligence had found an alien craft run on clean fuel.

His mother, Janis Sharp, told the BBC she was "devastated" by the news and that her son, who has a form of autism, had reacted "very badly".

"It's a disgusting decision. Gary has been in a heightened state of terror for almost eight years.

"To force a peaceful, vulnerable, misguided UFO fanatic like Gary thousands of miles away from his much-needed support network is barbaric," she said.

She said she was not comforted by the home secretary's advice that her son would not be held in a "supermax" jail, which hold the highest-security prisoners.

Extradition treaty

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said it was appalling the government placed a higher value on a "deeply unfair" extradition agreement than on the welfare of a British citizen.

"The home secretary should stop being an American poodle and start being a British bulldog," he said.

And Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "The shoddy treatment of this vulnerable man should demonstrate that our rotten extradition laws need urgent reform."

Mr Johnson had last month agreed to study new medical evidence before deciding on the extradition. The High Court had previously refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr McKinnon has been the focus of a campaign to prevent his removal to the US.

Earlier this month, the Commons' Home Affairs Committee said the move should be halted owing to his "precarious state of mental health".

They concluded there was a "serious lack of equality" in the way the extradition treaty deals with UK citizens compared with US citizens.