Family fury over U-turn on Gary McKinnon's risk of suicide if he is extradited
PUBLISHED: 00:41, 29 March 2012 | UPDATED: 00:41, 29 March 2012
Anger: Gary McKinnon's family reacted with fury last night at medical reports claiming he is no longer a serious suicide risk if extradited. Mr McKinnon is pictured
Gary McKinnon’s family reacted with fury last night at medical reports claiming he is no longer a serious suicide risk if extradited.
Legal and medical experts have argued for several years about whether the Asperger’s sufferer might kill himself if sent to the United States, where he faces up to 60 years behind bars after hacking into Nasa and Pentagon computers looking for the existence of ‘little green men’.
But fresh evidence commissioned by Home Secretary Theresa May suggests Gary is mentally strong enough to be extradited, Channel 4 News reported.
It detailed two medical reports on the hacker – from the same psychiatrist but giving a very different evaluation.
The first report in 2009 from Professor Declan Murphy, after interviewing Gary in person, stated that if he did not get continual one-to-one observation the 46-year-old ‘is likely to make a serious attempt at suicide’.
He added: ‘Mr McKinnon stated that he would kill himself ... He now has a fixed idea, which is currently unshakeable, that his best outcome is to take his own life if deported.’
But the professor’s new assessment for the Home Office, carried out without any further interview, says: ‘We judge the risk of suicide to be moderate.’
Channel 4 claims a Home Office official said the fresh evidence – which Theresa May will consider before making a final decision on Gary’s case in the coming weeks – gives the minister little option but to extradite him.
Gary’s mother, Janis Sharp, attacked Dr Murphy’s report, pointing out that it goes against the opinions of other eminent psychiatrists that Gary’s legal team are preparing to submit to Mrs May in response to the Home Office.
She said: ‘What basis could he possibly have to go against the expert opinion of four of the top people in the country, who say that Gary will absolutely take his own life?
Controversial: Fresh evidence commissioned by Home Secretary Theresa May suggests Gary is mentally strong enough to be extradited, it has been reported
‘It’s an in abstentia report and it contradicts his previous face-to-face report. What did he base this on? It’s a mystery to me.’
Shami Chakrabarti – director of Liberty which is campaigning on Gary’s behalf – said: ‘If all the Home Office has got to say that Gary McKinnon is fit for extradition is the evidence of an expert who contradicts his earlier evidence on (his) vulnerability, I think it’s impossible for the Home Office to extradite this man.’
Gary, whose case is backed by a Daily Mail campaign, has always agreed to stand trial for hacking in a British court.
U.S. president Barack Obama agreed earlier this month to top-level negotiations on cutting the number of Britons extradited for trial in America after David Cameron raised the plight of Gary during his official visit to Washington.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Home Secretary will consider the report alongside all other relevant material and aims to reach a decision as soon as is consistent with dealing fairly and properly with this case.’Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121934/Family-fury-U-turn-Gary-McKinnons-risk-suicide-extradited.html#ixzz1qXob2OZn