As it happened: Gary McKinnon extradition decision

Key Points

  • Home Secretary Theresa May has blocked the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US
  • The home secretary says there was no doubt Mr McKinnon is 'seriously ill' and the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn
  • Mr McKinnon's mother says she is 'overwhelmed' and the decision is a victory 'for the little person'

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    Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage as the home secretary decides whether Gary McKinnon can be extradited to the US on charges of hacking into US military computers.


    Mr McKinnon, who admits accessing US government computers but claims he was looking for evidence the US government suppressed UFO technology, has been fighting extradition since 2002.


    For the full background on Mr McKinnon, read our profile here.


    Reports suggest that home secretary Theresa May will also announce changes to Britain's extradition arrangements with the US. Mr McKinnon's case has been highlighted by critics who say it is too easy for the US to demand the handover of UK citizens.


    For a full explanation on how the extradition arrangements work, look at our explainer here.

    Gary McKinnon

    Mr McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, has told the BBC her son had lived a "zombified life" for the past decade, which had "destroyed him".


    tweets: Let's hope Theresa May does the right thing by poor old Gary McKinnon.


    BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman says it would be a "seismic change" if Home Secretary Theresa May were to introduce a measure that would make it more likely UK citizens would be tried in the UK.


    tweets: Anxious to hear the Gary McKinnon verdict later. I'll be appalled if he is even considered for deportation.


    Here's some background to the case for you. Mr McKinnon has previously lost appeals in the High Court, the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights against his extradition. However two years ago a High Court judge ruled Mr McKinnon would be at risk of suicide if sent away.

    1151: Breaking News

    The BBC's Clive Coleman says the home secretary can only halt the extradition on human rights grounds - and he believes this latest report may provide her with a basis to do that.


    Earlier this year Mrs May put the decision on hold to allow Home Office appointed psychiatrists to conduct an assessment. They also concluded that Mr McKinnon would be likely to take his own life if he was sent to face trial in the US.


    tweets: Theresa May & the Tories are not brave enough to refuse America the extradition of Gary McKinnon.

    Janis Sharp

    Mr McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp told BBC Three Counties Radio this morning that she was feeling "optimistic" about the decision as the Home Office's psychiatrist agreed with her son's psychiatrist that he would take his own life if he were extradited.

    1156: Breaking News

    The home secretary is due to make her announcement in the Commons at 12:30 BST.


    Mr McKinnon's local MP, Conservative David Burrowes, says he will resign as a parliamentary aide if the extradition goes ahead. "I see him as a man who if he is to be extradited he will lose his life and I don't want blood on my hands. And also, I hold firm to the promises we made and we need to follow through with those," he told the BBC.

    Shaun Walmsley, Kensal

    texts: I think the computer hacker Gary McKinnon should be granted leniency and not face extradition to the US, but tried in the UK due to his mental health and the significant suicide risk which he poses.

    Tory MP Zac Goldsmith

    tweets: A big test for the Government today re the Gary McKinnon extradition. Will it stand up for a vulnerable citizen?


    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay The Gary McKinnon story has us hooked in the office. Here's hoping for a sensible decision.

    Tom Ralph, Norwich

    emails: This man has already served ten years. Please do not prolong his agony. We should be protecting our citizens from the US's medieval system, not throwing them like lambs to the lions.


    Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, tells the BBC it is a critical decision for Gary, "who is a very, very vulnerable man". She says there needs to be some discretion and compassion in the judicial system to deal with someone like Mr McKinnon in the UK.


    A press conference with a number of speakers including Mr McKinnon's mother, MP and lawyers is due to take place after the announcement, at 14:30 BST. The chief executive of the National Autistic Society and director of Liberty will also speak.

    David Coulton, Luton

    emails: Gary McKinnon broke the law, and yes, he needs to be tried for that, but the punishment needs to be in context with the crime. Sixty years is a death sentence, and as he was in this country whilst committing the offence, he should be prosecuted in this country. As he is a British Citizen, he should be tried in Britain. Any punishment should be served in this country.


    US authorities describe Mr McKinnon's actions as the "biggest military computer hack of all time" and have demand he face justice in America. They insist his hacking was "intentional and calculated to influence and affect the US government by intimidation and coercion".

    Liza, Liverpool

    emails: I hope with all my heart they make the right decision. Gary should not go to America. I have two sons with Asperger's Syndrome, helping me understand just how difficult this whole thing will be for Gary and his mum. If you read the whole story it is very clear he no criminal. Leave him alone and go use these resources and tax payers money to catch the real baddies.

    Ian, Kent

    emails: As an IT professional for many years, I understand what it takes to effectively hack into an organisation. There are many times when a person would be faced with identification showing where he or she would be entering. Unless you are totally unaware of the differences between right and wrong, you would know what you are doing. If the person does know what they are doing then the term 'if you can't do the time, don't commit the crime' comes into effect.


    tweets: If the Home Secretary announces 'forum bar' rules in the McKinnon case then many, many people will see it as double standards.

    BBC News website reader

    texts: The fact is he commited very serious crimes, crimes which, if performed by a nation rather then a man constitute an act of war against the US. He deserves to be tried in an American court.


    tweets: How big a part will McKinnon's Asperger's play in his case? #FreeGary


    The National Autistic Society has called for extradition proceedings to be stopped and for Mr McKinnon - who has Asberger's Syndrome - to stand trial in the UK. It has said previously that extraditing him could have "serious and potentially tragic ramifications".


    Read our timeline for a reminder of the key events in Mr McKinnon's ten-year fight against extradition.

    Matt Williams, Leigh-on-Sea

    emails: As a parent of a son with Aspergers, I have huge sympathy for Janis Sharp. She has worked tirelessly, with great understanding of her son's plight, seeking simple justice for him. Aspergers is a very difficult disability to live with as there can be few outward signs. You need to be a strong parent, shepherding your child through school, and as they grow up you suffer permanent worries about their vulnerability.


    Blocking the extradition of Mr McKinnon would have to involve "very special and particular circumstances" by the home secretary, Sir Menzies Campbell tells the BBC. The former Liberal Democrat leader has written a report on Britain's extradition treaty with the US for his party.

    Steve, Manchester

    emails: : If you are smart enough to hack into the FBI database, you must be smart enough to understand that it is wrong. Stand up and face your punishment.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    Tweets: Two key issues for Home Sec's statement are 1) Human Rights/health and 2) Wider question of appropriate forum for trial


    BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman says if the home secretary were to turn down the extradition on human rights grounds it would be a "momentous decision".

    1236: Breaking News BBC political correspondent James Landale

    says he understands that Daily Mail reports that the Home Secretary will block the extradition of Gary Mckinnon are correct.

    1237: Breaking News

    Home Secretary Theresa May says there is no doubt Mr McKinnon is seriously ill. She says she has carefully examined the medical evidence and taken legal advice and has concluded that his extradition would give such a high risk that he would end his life that it restricts his human rights.


    tweets: Finally some sanity in the Gary McKinnon case.


    Mrs May says concerns about the working of extradition law have grown in recent years, which is why she commissioned a review. Parliament has also agreed there are problems, she says.


    There are also problems with European Arrest Warrant, Ms May adds.The government will work with the EU to see what changes can be made to improve its operation.


    tweets: Yes! Gary McKinnon stays in the UK! No extradition! #FreeGary

    Ben, Leicester

    emails: Phew! Logic prevails.

    Steve, London

    emails: Well done Ms May - a correct decision based on British ideals of fair play and the rights of an individual. Aas a parent of a young adult with ASD, I applaud your decision.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets Home Sec is now on to her response to the independent Baker review of extradition, published last year


    Mrs May says she will introduce a forum bar which means that judges can block extraditions where there could be a trial in the UK.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets And... interestingly enough, Talha Ahsan, extradited alongside Babar Ahmad, says he, like McKinnon, has Aspergers.

    BBC News website reader

    texts: Outrageous that May is going to overhaul the extradition laws just days after she celebrated the extradition of Talha Ahsan who also has Asperger's syndrome. Spot the difference!


    The Crown Prosecution Service will produce its own guidance to deal with cases of alleged criminality in multiple jurisdictions.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Home Sec: Says that she wants to end the "wholly unacceptable" delays in extradition in cases like Abu Hamza.


    The forum bar will be specifically designed to ensure it does not fall foul of "delays and satellite litigation", Mrs May told MPs.


    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says she knew it was not an easy decision for the home secretary.

    Alex, London

    emails: THANK YOU for this decision. My son suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and I know too well what this means to Mr McKinnon and his family. Human rights came first here!


    Human rights group Liberty says this is a great day for rights, freedoms & justice in the UK: "The home secretary has spared this vulnerable man the cruelty of being sent to the US and accepted Liberty's long-standing argument for change to our rotten Extradition laws."

    David, Liverpool

    emails: As far as I'm concerned the crime was committed in America and he should be punished to the fullest extent. He can't illegally break into systems and expect no punishment because he is ill.

    David Burrowes Mr McKinnon's MP

    tweets: Compassion and pre election promises delivered today to #freegary

    Carole Walker Political correspondent

    tweets: Theresa May says future appeals against extradition on human rights grounds will be decided by High Court, not Home Sec


    Home Office medical evidence showed Mr McKinnon was very likely to try to kill himself if extradited to the US. The US stance also appeared to soften this summer, with government adviser John Arquilla saying they should be recruiting elite computer hackers to launch cyber-attacks against terrorists instead of prosecuting them.


    The BBC's Jane Little in Washington says the groundwork had been laid for today's decision, with US policy towards Mr McKinnon "seen to be softening" after President Obama's meeting with David Cameron in 2010, when the McKinnon case was discussed by the two leaders.

    Breaking News Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    This is a very significant decision for Gary McKinnon. But here's the really, really, interesting part. The home secretary has human rights powers to block extradition and the independent review for the government said ministers should lose those powers.


    tweets: Gary McKinnon extradition blocked by Theresa May Blimey, but not Abu Hamza. A fine line?


    tweets: Legal points aside, as the mother of a boy with Aspergers I'm almost tearfully relieved about Gary McKinnon.

    Louise Mensch Former Tory MP

    tweets: Theresa May blocks extradition of Gary McKinnon. Especially proud to be a Conservative this morning.

    Paul Waugh editor

    tweets May's McKinnon move, together w/ EU opt-out, makes her v popular on Tory bbenches. Have her odds for next Tory leader been cut yet

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    The human rights powers will pass to judges - effectively removing politicians from the decision-making.

    Simon, London

    emails: What a load of nonsense! He knew exactly what he was doing and just kept going when he should have stopped. He should be man enough to face up to it and take responsibility for his actions. Human rights tosh. If he's that unwell then he shouldn't have access to a computer.

    Dean Billington, Birmingham

    emails: FINALLY! I nearly fell off my chair - a common sense decision from this government.


    London Mayor Boris Johnson says "at last justice has prevailed". "To extradite a man diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome to America for trial would have been extraordinarily cruel and inhumane. I applaud the government's stance. If they had approved extradition they would have been saying that extradition on any grounds was ok. It's not."

    Paul Waugh Editor,

    tweets: Alan Johnson lambasts May's McKinnon decision "as in her own party's interest" but "not in interest of the country".

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: The supporters of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan are furious today. They say the forum bar would have stopped those extraditons 2 weeks ago


    Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said he was delighted that the years of waiting were over for Mr McKinnon and his mother. "People with Asperger syndrome can be vulnerable and the NAS argued long and hard for the home secretary to take Gary's condition and its associated challenges into account when making this decision," he said.


    tweets: Great news for Gary McKinnon & fam.May's motives are absolutely disingenuous though.Have to wonder why she didn't do same for Hasan & Ahmed


    Melanie Riley, of campaign group Friends Extradited, says it was a "brave and correct" decision by the home secretary. "We are relieved and delighted for Gary and his family and his lawyers," she says.

    Paul Waugh Editor, Politicshome

    tweets: Johnson says Home Sec knew US offered to let McKinnon serve his sentence in UK. Says McKinnon case 'nowhere near' human rights definition

    1309: Breaking News

    Mr McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp thanks Home Secretary Theresa May for blocking her son's extradition, saying: "Thank you Theresa May from the bottom of my heart - I always knew you had the strength and courage to do the right thing."

    Jim Griffiths, Chelmsford

    emails: The point about Gary is that while he did cause significant embarrasment to the USA, his intentions were honourable and were not to cause harm to the USA or its citizens. He did in fact highlight the very poor security of the servers he hacked and has contributed to improving the security of them.

    1317: Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    Babar Ahmad's campaign welcome the Mr McKinnon decision. But they accuse the government of "double standards". They ask: "Why within the space of two weeks a British citizen with Aspergers accused of computer related-activity is not extradited, while two other British citizens, one with Aspergers, engaged in computer related-activity are extradited?"


    Mr McKinnon's life has been saved by the home secretary's decision to block his extradition, his local MP David Burrowes said. Speaking in the Commons he said it represented a "victory for compassion and pre-election promises being kept", as he praised the "tireless campaigning" of Mr McKinnon's mother.


    Reform campaign "Friends Extradited" adds that its thoughts are "with all those unnecessarily extradited before wrongs of the Act are put right".

    Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond Park

    tweets: Well done Theresa May. Absolutely the right decision re Gary McKinnon. & well done @JanisSharp for her heroic efforts to protect her son.

    John Mcyintyre, London

    emails: Absolute double standards! Babar Ahmed was held with no evidence for the last seven years and was extradited. What is this Home Secretary playing at? She is giving the wrong messages, namely if you are a muslim you will be extradited (even if there is no evidence against you,) but if you are a white caucasion you are safe from extradition!.

    Erica Cummings, Brighton

    emails: I have two sons with Aspergers and already some of these comments make me so sad and angry. Comments that mention them "being unwell" or saying that Mr McKinnon 'knew' what he was doing show the ignorance surrounding Asperger's and Austism.


    tweets: Terrible decision by Home Secretary on #McKinnon.


    tweets: By deporting Abu Hamza, opting out of EU directives and blocking McKinnon's extradition, Theresa May has made herself the toast of Tory MPs.


    tweets: What a relief that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited. Thank god. Government must protect vulnerable indivduals not throw them to the dogs


    Isabella Sankey is policy director at human rights group Liberty. She tells the BBC's World At One that if it is in the public interest for Mr McKinnon to face prosecution "then it should be in this country. If it's in the public interest for him to face prosecution, then it needs to be here because of his medical condition and the risk that extradition would pose to him".

    Paul Carter, Southampton

    emails: Asperger's seems to be the "modern" excuse for breaking the law. Some made up symptoms to justify criminal behaviour - and the Home Secretary lets them get away with vandalism.


    David Rivkin is an American lawyer and former White House counsel to President Reagan and President Bush. He tells the BBC's World At One the decision to block Mr McKinnon's extradition was "laughable", adding "under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with impunity and get away with it. Because either he would not be prosecuted or extradited".


    Writing in the New Statesman, blogger David Allen Green asks why it has taken ten years to block the extradition of Mr McKinnon. Part of the reason, he argues, was the "incredible achievement" of keeping the case in the news - largely by Mr McKinnon's mother and her fellow campaigners.


    Liberty spokeswomen Isabella Sankey tells the BBC that it "looks like double standards" for the government to block Gary McKinnon's extradition, while allowing the extradition of alleged Muslim terrorists to the US.


    Jeremy Croft, Amnesty's head of policy and government affairs, says: "It can only be hoped that her decision today marks a change in direction wherein the home secretary ceases to call for those very protections to be dismantled, and indeed champions the Act for the safeguards it provides."


    Amnesty International UK says it "makes a refreshing change to hear Theresa May invoking the human rights protections afforded by the Human Rights Act".

    Lee Stevens, Telford

    emails: Being the father of a son who has Asperger's, can I please set the record straight for those individuals who are completely ignorant as to what autism is. It is NOT a disease. In Gary's mindset all he wanted to do was find out about UFO's. As far as he is concerned that's all he was doing, it had got nothing to do with computer hacking.


    We've just heard that the press conference with Mr McKinnon's mother and others has been moved to 15:15 BST.

    John, London

    texts: Whilst I don't doubt McKinnon's vulnerability, he still committed a deeply damaging crime by hacking US government computers. Cant help but feel like this decision, although arguably the right one, was made for party political purposes .


    tweets: I will be interested to see the reaction of the US State Dept/DoJ to the McKinnon extradition being blocked. #extraditionq


    tweets: Haven't always been a fan of the Home Secretary, but she's earned kudos today. It would have been wholly unjust to extradite Gary McKinnon.

    Sadiq Khan Labour MP for Tooting

    tweets: Glad extradition of Gary McKinnon stopped. Home Sec uses our Human Rights Act as basis for her decision - shows it is a force for good. Govt announce review of "forum bar" too late for #syedtalhaahsan (who also has Aspergers) & #babarahmad

    Lorraine Gordon, Dunfermline

    emails: Blocking Gary McKinnon's extradition is not double standards as claimed by Liberty. It is simply a matter of each case being judged individually on its own merits.


    emails: Asperger's didn't get this kind of attention two weeks ago when Talha Ahsan was extradited to the US. Shameful!


    Labour MP and ex-Home Secretary David Blunkett says there is no need to put everyone wanted by the US authorities on a plane. He tells the Commons there have been efforts to explore the potential for video conferencing and for sentences to be served in the UK.


    Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Keith Vaz says he has "a lot of concerns about the fairness of the original treaty itself," in reference to the UK's extradition treaty with the US, which would have been employed had Mr McKinnon been extradited. "We still think that this is not a balanced treaty. It favours those who are American citizens over British citizens."


    Former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson thinks Theresa May has made a big mistake in halting Mr McKinnon's extradition: "Gary McKinnon is accused of very serious offences. The US was perfectly within its rights, and it was extremely reasonable of them, to seek his extradition...the Home Secretary has made a decision today that's in her own party's best interest; it is not in the best interests of the country."

    Emily, Chesham

    emails: Being a person diagnosed with Asperger's myself, I can't help but be disgusted with the amount of ignorance about it. McKinnon is not "seriously ill," as the Home Secretary says, but has been born the way he is. You are born with Asperger's and autism, it is not something you can cure, like an illness.

    Emma, London

    emails: This is not the same as Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan. Gary McKinnon sat at a computer in London and made a mistake. Ahmed and Ahsan were accused of not just running websites that promoted terrorism, but also of supplying false documents and equipment to terrorists. Hardly the same thing.


    Tory MP Dominic Raab says that rather than renegotiating the US-UK extradition treaty wholesale, "which would require reratification in Congress and a huge bureaucratic nightmare on both sides, I would like to see us strengthen the UK safeguards which could be done without touching the treaty. It's a modest safeguard, and what we're really talking about is tweaking those US arrangements".


    Jago Russell, chief executive of Fair Trials International, says the government's statement goes much further than the case of Gary McKinnon, "promising long-awaited reforms to put justice and fairness back into our extradition laws".


    Mr Russell adds: "We welcome the fact that our courts will be given the power to refuse extradition when the country seeking it is clearly the wrong place to hear the case."


    Labour MP Dennis Skinner pays tribute to Mr McKinnon's mother, who lives in his Bolsover constituency. He says: "Without the extra-parliamentary activity of my constituent Janis Sharp, I doubt whether this decision could have been made in the way it has been made today. I want to thank her for all that Bolsover fighting spirit."


    tweets: SO full of twitter love for @JanisSharp, who has campaigned so hard for her son. Just incredible. Congratulations to you and your supporters


    tweets: Felt really pleased that #McKinnon's extradition is blocked as an #Asperger's person myself

    BBC News website reader

    texts: I too am appalled that the Home Secretary calls Asperger's an "illness". It's a lifelong disability. There is a massive difference. If you understand its symptoms, you will understand why Gary behaved in the way he did.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Some questions on difference between Talha Ahsan and #McKinnon. The issue is not Aspergers - but the clinically-assessed risk of suicide

    Sophie, Oldham

    emails: What a real shame that Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan's human rights were never considered. But of course, they are alleged terrorists and the government has realised that anything can be done in the name of counter terrorism. A sad day for the principles this country stands for.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Another question on whether the McKinnon decision could have prevented Babar Ahmad extradition. McKinnon's block on health grounds, not forum. The forum bar isn't coming into effect for some time - there is going to be some work on what it should and should not cover.


    Cathy Newman, presenter for Channel 4 News, writes a piece for the Telegraph on how Theresa May's saving of Gary McKinnon from extradition to the US is "yet another example of her canny knack of dodging the flak".


    Tory MP Dominic Raab says effective law enforcement "should not mean hanging innocent British citizens out to dry". He adds: "Reforming the US arrangements is vital, but the injustice there is a drop in the ocean compared to the fate of too many UK nationals languishing in squalid jails and subject to incompetent and corrupt justice systems across Europe."

    Peter Brunnen, in New Malden, Surrey,

    emails: Well done Teresa May. The right and just decision. I do not condone hacking but this was not terrorist based it was just a determined personal act to find out some truths possibly hidden from the public which may have an immense bearing on our possible relations with other species from another world. If this is breaking the law and instigated in this country then the crime should be tried here.


    A spokesman for the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been staying as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden, says: "There are obvious parallels here... The UK government ought to now publicly state that they will not, under any circumstances, allow the onward extradition of Julian Assange to the US where he would be subject to the undermining of his human rights just as Gary McKinnon would have been."

    James Croft, in London,

    emails: I hope the US pursue him through the UK civil courts for the damage he has caused, illness or not.

    Lisa, in Liverpool,

    emails: Asperger's Syndrome is part of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, it is complex and misunderstood. Someone with Asperger's might have good academic ability but will have difficulties with social and emotional abilities. Is not an illness itself but day to day life is hard. The search for truth and understanding is all Gary is guilty off. Don't judge unless you really know what living with Aspergers is about.


    The Islamic Human Rights Commission issues a statement: "The facts are clear, Muslims are extradited, non-Muslims are not. Muslims face detention without charge, non-Muslims do not. In light of government actions it is clear that Muslims are seen as second class citizens in Britain."

    @vincejap, in Scotland,

    tweets: Well Done to Gary McKinnon and all those who helped him avoid extradition, nice to see a wee bit of justice in the world


    Our correspondent Mario Cacciottolo is at the press conference in London where we'll hear reaction to Ms May's decision. He describes a hushed room packed full of journalists: "It is in this room that Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp will tell the world of how she feels now that her battle to prevent her son's extradition to the United States has been won."


    Gary McKinnon is trending on Twitter in the UK.


    Julia O'Dwyer, whose son Richard still faces extradition to the US on copyright charges, has welcomed the introduction of a forum bar. "I am thrilled for Janis, Gary and everyone involved in the Free Gary campaign. The forum amendment announced today is a major development in extradition law and Theresa May has it in her power to apply this to current pending cases of which Richard is the only one," she said.


    tweets: Fmr Home Sec. Alan Johnson made some points today on #GaryMcKinnon. Shame, for a man I admire, he was wrong. #Freegary


    Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: "The Home Secretary's humane and sensible decision should have some bearing on the provision for, and treatment of, the many people with learning disabilities caught up in the criminal justice system here in the UK."

    Steve, in Chippenham,

    emails: To the Islamic Human Rights Commission, how dare you come out with such an outrageous statement! What about all the white businessmen who have been extradited to the US? Hang your heads in shame and apologise for your vacuous attempt at religious bigotry.

    Press conference

    Our reporter Mario Cacciottolo has sent us this picture of the press pack waiting for the press conference where Janis Sharp and others will speak shortly.

    Tony, in Norfolk,

    texts: The Islamic Human Rights Commission have chosen to make a wholly inaccurate statement! It does them no credit. British non Muslim citizens have been extradited as they know full well. In this case the medical evidence of risk to McKinnon life was overwhelming. No such evidence was produced in any other case! Shame on them for releasing such fundamentally flawed statement!


    texts: Happy to hear Gary McKinnon extradition blocked but also very angry that this decision taken after Ahmed and Ahsan. How convenient this decision by Home Secretary after two Muslims are extradited, a few weeks earlier. Would they have extradited if this decision had been taken earlier?

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Some questions on difference between Talha Ahsan and #McKinnon. The issue is not Aspergers - but the clinically-assessed risk of suicide


    Our reporter Mario Cacciottolo says a slightly apologetic lady has just told the assembled journalists at the press conference that Janis Sharp is "in a car at King's Cross so about 10 minutes away".

    1543: Breaking News

    Expert in US Federal Law and International Extradition Douglas McNabb tells the BBC the US Attorney's Office will be "livid" when they learn of the decision to to extradite Gary McKinnon. "They take a very aggressive approach, extra territoriality - and they have been attempting to secure Mr McKinnon's body for close to ten years next month - so they are not going to be happy at all."

    Rob, in Godalming,

    emails: As a network engineer myself I feel the person or persons who should have been hung out to dry was either the architects of the US government IT security systems and/or the persons maintaining them. There is no excuse for leaving big holes in a highly secure network.


    Our reporter at the press conference where Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp is due to speak says she is five minutes away: "walking up the street".


    The Gary McKinnon ruling has wider implications about internet crime and where a crime should be tried, the Telegraph's assistant editor Philip Johnston argues here.


    Our producer at the press conference says when Janis Sharp arrives it's likely she will then be briefed in a side room, hopefully to appear at some point after 16:15 BST.

    1556: Breaking News

    "Gary McKinnon did not seek to evade justice. He merely wanted British justice," Mr McKinnon's lawyer tells the press conference.


    Gary McKinnon's lawyer Karen Todner says it's a "great day for British justice" and pays tribute to the home secretary and his supporters.


    Edward Fitzgerald QC, another of Mr McKinnon's lawyers, says it was only thanks to the Human Rights Act that the extradition was halted.

    Karen Todner  and Janis Sharp

    Gary McKinnon's lawyer Karen Todner and mother Janis Sharp at press conference.

    David, in Bristol

    emails: Reading this news has done a lot to restore my faith in the British courts making sensical decisions rather than political. What a shame the Islamic Human Rights Commission had to weigh in with such a misguided comment that has merely stirred up racial animosity. This decision was not based on religion or race, but common sense.


    Mr McKinnon's MP David Burrowes says he's very relieved by the "just and compassionate decision". "This decision is a light being given back to Gary in a tunnel of the last ten years" he says.


    Mark Lever from the National Autistic Society tells the press conference that in future he hopes people's autsim is taken into account when legal decison are taken.


    Shami Chakrabarti from Liberty says it is a "great day for compassion and common sense". She adds that the Home Office itself said the only defence available to Mr McKinnon was under the "much maligned" Human Rights Act.


    Janis Sharp starts to speak. She is choking back tears.


    Janis Sharpe says it's been an '"emotional rollercoaster".


    Janis Sharpe thanks the home secretary saying she always knew she "had the guts" to stand up to the US.


    "We've won for the little person," she adds.

    1609: Breaking News

    When asked how Gary reacted to the decision his mother replies: "He literally couldn't speak, then he cried, there's been hugging and crying. It's been so emotional".


    Mrs Sharp also pays tribute to the press, in particular the Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, for the paper's support.


    Our reporter at the press conference says that Ms Sharp's eye's are clearly glistening with tears as she speaks.


    tweets: Janis Sharp and the Human Rights Act, I salute you. #garymckinnon #aspergers

    1615: Breaking News

    Janis Sharp says it has been "horrendous" watching what her son has gone through. She says he was a very good musician but he hasn't picked up an instrument in many years and has stopped running. "He just shut down. It was just the waste of talent - ten years." She adds: "It was very good to see him smile for the first time in many years."


    Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society says the case shows the importance of expert testimony when anyone with Aspergers or Autism is involved in the criminal justice system. He says it the fact it has been recognised is an important step forward in ensuring they are properly supported.

    Gareth, in Ross-on-Wye

    emails: This is the right decision for the wrong reason. A British subject who has never set foot in the USA should not, under any circumstances, be extradited to the USA. If he has committed a crime here under UK law, he should be tried here. If he has not, then he has committed no crime at all, and deserves the protection of British law from any foreign jurisdiction. It would never happen in the other direction. Fix the treaty.

    Keir, in Cambridge

    texts: I have several friends with Asperger's at school, and we were all reading the updates at lunchtime at school today. When Theresa May said Gary would not be extradited, my friends (all male, by the way) were crying for joy at the outcome and what the case stood for. I have never seen them happier.


    Speaking after the press conference Ms Sharp says she is "incredibly relieved" and she is grateful to the "good people" who backed her campaign.


    BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith says the home secretary's decision has been met with widespread support in Westminster. Two select committees, the prime minister, deputy prime minister, attorney general and a parliamentary vote had all opposed extradition.

    1624: Breaking News

    Ms Sharp adds the decision has saved her son's life. "It will give him back some self-esteem and he can rebuild his life," she says.


    Norman Smith adds there are two possible problems. The first is the reaction of the US which has pursued him fairly doggedly for ten years and could decide to persist in some way perhaps go through Interpol for a Red Order. The other is the extent of the reform Ms May pushes forward with, some fearing it isn't nearly far enough.


    Janis Sharp says the family will cope if the CPS decides to pursue charges against her son in the UK. "The relief at just having him kept here is just massive".


    Our correspondent in Washington, Jane Little, says she is expecting to get oifficial reaction to the extradition decision within the hour.

    Chris, in Stevenage

    emails: I have no real sympathy for him to be honest. He broke the law and should be punished. He knew what he was doing and thought himself clever. Any "loss of talent," as is mum has put it, is his own fault. Why should we, the British public, have to pay for him to be held in prison here in the UK?


    BBC Washington correspondent Jane Little adds she does not think there will be huge outrage at the decision in the US, as there is a sense this is now a different case from when he was first sought.


    Downing Street have made it clear the decision to block the extradition was the home secretary's one alone. The PM's spokeswoman would not be drawn on whether Mr Cameron was pleased with the decision.


    Here's that Home Secretary statement in full. Extract: "After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights."

    Jonathan Moore, in Warwick

    emails: Thank goodness for Gary. Now can we stop this ridiculous one-sided extradition treaty with the US? It has brought shame on our country, and on the politicians who stand idly by, while our citizens have their legal rights abused by the legal system of a supposed ally.

    Michael Nowicki, in Edinburgh

    emails: As a mental health supporter, I am very pleased with the decision. Lets hope the poor lad gets his life back on track.


    Campaigner (and wife of Sting) Trudie Styler, says "I am delighted that after all the years of wrangling and uncertainty - which, in themselves, have taken a terrible toll on Gary's already poor health - the home secretary has shown the humanity and courage to reach this decision."


    The BBC's Mario Cacciottolo gives his impression of the press conference: "There was a palpable sense of relief flooding down from those on the speaking panel, not least because everyone knew that their refusal to bow to the demands of the United States was an embodiment of the David v Goliath story."


    That's it for our live coverage today. For further updates on reaction to the ruling, read our story here.


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