Gary McKinnon wins reprieve from new government

Gary McKinnon

The final court case to extradite Gary McKinnon the US to face hacking charges has been called off, as the new government appears set to live up to promises to keep the Apsergers Syndrome sufferer in the country.

The Home Office has confirmed it has asked the court to hold off a looming judicial review, after an appeal from McKinnon's lawyers.

New Home Secretary Theresa May apparently would like to look into the medical argument behind the latest appeal, which argues McKinnon would be at risk of suicide if sent to stand trial in the US and should instead be tried here.

McKinnon's lawyer Karen Todner said May is looking for more time to examine the case, which has now been before six Home Secretaries. "The secretary of state, having recently taken office and having received further representations from the claimant's representatives, wishes to have appropriate time fully to consider the issues in the case," Todner said in a statement.

"I hope this may be a signal of a more compassionate and caring Home Secretary and one that is willing to defend the rights of our citizens," she added.

McKinnon's mother is optimistic about the news.

"Last year Cameron said he could see no compassion in sending Gary away to the other side of the world when he could be tried here in the UK and Clegg said extraditing Gary would be a'"travesty of justice,' she said in a statement.

"I am therefore confident that the new Government will do the right thing and halt Gary's extradition so that he may face trial in the UK, without the further unnecessary risks to his mental health that extradition would bring."

She added: "Gary is still terrified and undergoing a state of ongoing heightened stress but today's news gives us hope, at last, that his ordeal may soon be over. We need it to be over and totally believe that the new coalition will keep their promises and allow Gary to be tried in his own country."