Hacker McKinnon gets extradition delay

The European Court of Human Rights has granted hacker Gary McKinnon a two-week delay on his extradition to the US.

The court says the delay will give it time "for his application to be heard before the full chamber," meaning US authorities will be required to wait until 28 August before extraditing him.

The US accused McKinnon of the "biggest military hack of all time" after he penetrated the defences of 97 Pentagon and NASA computer systems. During the hacks, prosecutors claim he damaged systems and stole sensitive files.

However, while McKinnon does not deny he hacked the systems, he maintains he was simply looking for proof of alien existence, and caused no real harm.

Extradition to the US could see McKinnon face up to 70 years in prison, according to his lawyers. They are fighting the sentence, claiming that it would be a breach of his human rights. McKinnon argues he will not receive a fair trial in the US, after a senator claimed he would "fry".

McKinnon has already lost an appeal before the House of Lords.