McKinnon must 'face the music', says Home Secretary

Gary McKinnon

Home Secretary has defended his refusal to halt Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US to stand trial for hacking government computers.

McKinnon's supporters have argued his Asperger's Syndrome needs to be taken into account, saying the North Londoner is at risk of suicide if sent to an American prison.

"Gary McKinnon is accused and has admitted to some very serious offences over a 14-month period in America he has to face the courts there," Johnson told the Enfield Advertiser.

"Having Asperger's isn't a reason why you can't face the courts. Actually, there are people who have much more serious mental illnesses than Asperger's who the courts have decided must still face the music for what they've done."

Johnson again repeated his claim that he is unable to interfere with the extradition. "Politicians don't decide whether to prosecute people: it's a fundamental part of the way our country runs. The director of public prosecutions decides and it is his decision to prosecute Gary McKinnon and his decision to prosecute him in America to extradite him."

While McKinnon has won another last appeal in the courts, set for 25 May, Johnson said that it's with good reason that McKinnon's case has repeatedly failed to convince judges. "That's because the action was against America, the witnesses are in America, and so that's that."

Johnson also claimed the Government has offered support to McKinnon's family over the years since the 2001 hacking incident. "I believe the criminal justice system has been there for the family," he told the Enfield Independent.

Read on for a timeline of McKinnon's court ordeal.