The National Autistic Society has expressed its anger and disappointment after a man with Asperger syndrome lost a High Court bid to prevent his extradition to the United States.
The ruling follows two judicial reviews challenging the home secretary’s decision to extradite Gary McKinnon to stand trial for hacking into US military computer systems and the Director for Public Prosecutions’ decision to prevent him from standing trial in the UK.
His lawyers, backed by the NAS, had argued he should be allowed to stand trial in the UK because of his condition. McKinnon was diagnosed with the syndrome in August 2008, meaning it was not taken into account in prior legal proceedings dating back to his arrest in 2002.
He admits hacking but has always argued he was looking for classified documents on UFOs which he believed the US government had suppressed.
Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said: “People with Asperger syndrome are often far more vulnerable than initial appearances would suggest, frequently isolated, often bullied and sadly many experience severe mental health problems if they do not get the right support. We are extremely disappointed that the High Court has decided to continue with Gary’s extradition despite these concerns.”
McKinnon may have the opportunity to appeal to the new UK Supreme Court to stop his extradition and the NAS said it would continue to campaign against his extradition.
Expert guide to autism