Hearing for judicial review was granted on 24 January 2009, the ground being that the decision to extradite failed to take into account Mr. McKinnon’s health (Asperger’s syndrome). “Nasa hacker wins right to appeal against extradition ” (ZDNet.co.uk, January 2009)
Just before that, the Home Secretary in the UK decided to suspend the extradition process until the director of public prosecutions takes a decision about whether or not prosecute in the UK Mr. McKinnon. The decision is interesting because in terms of politics, it means that the Home Secretary was ready to upset the US, unless it means that the US have implicitly agreed to a UK prosecution? McKinnon’s lawyers said so far the US remained silent… even after the plea to Bush for pardon (
“Nasa hacker appeals to Bush for pardon” ZDnet.co.uk, 16 January 2009)
Overall, I would certainly not claim to be safe; it is just a respite, but the uncertainty to remain in the UK is as important as ever. The US may have said nothing but it may well be because more important matters occupy the Government with the Bush/Obama transition to power.
“Nasa hacker: I’m safe until prosecution decision” (ZDnet.co.uk, 21 January 2009)
Meanwhile, the McKinnon “side” fires ‘all cylinders’ to push towards a UK prosecution that would lower significantly the risks of being jailed for a long time.
“MP calls for justice for Nasa hacker” (ZDNet.co.uk, 16 January 2009)
“Nasa hacker’s mother appeals for UK trial” (ZDNet.co.uk, 19 January 2009)
And I am not sure to which extent pleading guilty to the UK director of public prosecutions will help his case. The US may well take offense that McKinnon who denied all along having hacked suddenly changes his mind to avoid once more extradition.
McKinnon extradition on hold until February (ZDNet.co.uk, 20 January 2009)
“Nasa hacker legal team awaits prosecution decision” (ZDnet.co.uk, 16 January 2009)
“Nasa hacker: I’ll plead guilty in the UK ” (ZDnet.co.uk, 12 January 2009)