Connect to share and comment

Gary McKinnon, British computer hacker, will not face charges in the UK

Gary McKinnon was wanted in the US for breaking into military computer systems.

Gary mckinnonEnlarge
Gary McKinnon arrives at Bow Street Magistrates court on May 10, 2006 in London. (Bruno Vincent/AFP/Getty Images)

Gary McKinnon, a computer hacker who was wanted in the United States for breaking into the government's computer systems, will not face charges in his native Britain. 

McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, as well as schizophrenia and other mental health issues, had been fighting the extradition since 2002. He claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs on the US government's computers, BBC News reported

In October, the UK said it would not extradite him to the US due to his high risk of committing suicide. 

Keir Starmer, Britain's Director of Public Prosecutions, said on Friday that the 46-year-old hacker would not face charges in the UK because the chances of a successful conviction were "not high," according to Agence France Presse

The statement also said that the case would be difficult to try in Britain because most of the evidence and witnesses are in the United States, CNN reported.

The US government accused McKinnon of breaking into 97 computers for a year starting in March 2001 from his home, reportedly costing them around $1 million, according to CNN. 

Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mother, said the news was "amazing," adding that she was grateful the case was "all over now," according to BBC News. 

More from GlobalPost: Gary McKinnon: British hacker avoids extradition to the US

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121214/gary-mckinnon-british-computer-hacker-not-facing-charges-UK