If Gary Is Sent to Prison I Fear He Will Kill Himself; AN AFFRONT TO BRITISH JUSTICE; World Famous Asperger's Expert Warns That Alleged Terrorist Has a Child's Mind and Will Never Survive Jail

Daily Mail (London), July 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

If Gary Is Sent to Prison I Fear He Will Kill Himself; AN AFFRONT TO BRITISH JUSTICE; World Famous Asperger's Expert Warns That Alleged Terrorist Has a Child's Mind and Will Never Survive Jail


Byline: James Slack Home Affairs Editor

THE campaign to prevent the extradition of Gary McKinnon has received crucial backing from one of the world's leading experts in autism, who says the military hacker had 'no terrorist agenda' and poses 'no harm to society'.

Professor Simon BaronCohen concludes the 43-yearold Asperger's sufferer may take his own life if extradited to America, and should be prosecuted instead in the UK.

In a detailed medical report obtained by the Daily Mail, which is campaigning on Glasgow-born Gary's behalf, the Cambridge University expert says the hacker should be treated in the same way as a child, given the severity of his Asperger's.

Professor Baron-Cohen also says that Gary - who hacked into 97 NASA and Pentagon comput-ersand is accused of 'cyber-terrorism' by the U.S. - was acting out of 'altruism' in seeking to expose what he believed was a cover-up of the existence of alien life.

The emergence of the report, prepared for a legal review of the Home Office's decision to allow Gary's extradition, heaps yet more pressure on Home Secre-tarAlan Johnson to halt the process.

The Home Office has insisted the diagnosis of Gary's Asperger's in September 2008 - long after extradition proceedings began - is insufficient grounds to halt his removal to the U.S., where he faces a maximum 60-year jail term.

Professor Baron-Cohen, who is professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and director of the internationally renowned Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, assessed Gary in September last year.

Gary told the professor that he hacked into the U.S. computers between 2001 and 2002 because he believed information was being hidden about clean energy, and the existence of UFOs.

The report says: 'In my view his motivation was unrelated to any terrorist agenda, nor did he have any wish to cause harm, damage or loss to the U.S. or any individual. He appears to have ended up committing a crime without any real understanding of the social, legal or political importance of the consequences.

'The fact that he left notes on the computer he hacked into, telling the users that their security was useless, shows that he was also wanting to alert the authorities that they needed to improve their security.

'Tragically, this narrow atten-tioto detail, and relentless pursuit of the truth, together with his reduced social awareness, has led him to act in a way that has brought him into serious trouble. …

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If Gary Is Sent to Prison I Fear He Will Kill Himself; AN AFFRONT TO BRITISH JUSTICE; World Famous Asperger's Expert Warns That Alleged Terrorist Has a Child's Mind and Will Never Survive Jail
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