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Gary McKinnon's mother slams hypocrisy of potential UK prosecution

07 Nov 2012
Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp speaking at a press conference

Gary McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp, has told V3 it would be "spectacular turnaround" if the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were to bring charges against her son over alleged hacking of US government computers in 2002.

Sharp was speaking to V3 in light of our revelations on Tuesday that the CPS and the Metropolitan Police Service are to meet at the end of November to decide whether to launch a new investigation into McKinnon after his extradition to the US was refused.

She said it would by deeply hypocritical if action was now brought against her son in the UK, after 10 years of fighting to have the case heard in the country, only to be told this was not possible.

"The CPS refused us for 10 years as they said they were unable to prosecute Gary as they didn't have the evidence required," she told V3.

"After a judicial review in June/July 2009 against the CPS, in which we tried to force a UK prosecution to take place, justice Stanley Burnton agreed with the CPS that the CPS were wholly justified in refusing to prosecute Gary in the UK.

"It would therefore be a spectacular turnaround if the CPS suddenly decided they could prosecute after all."

Sharp added that not only would this be a deeply disappointing outcome but it would heighten the damage done to her son over the past decade.

"They could have prosecuted Gary in 2002 and saved our family 10-plus years of absolute misery, which has destroyed Gary's life and caused his mental health to deteriorate further, and has all but ruined [his family's] lives too," she said.

She also pointed out that it would be unfair to expect Gary to remember details of the events in questions almost 11 years after they took place.

Home secretary Theresa May ruled in mid-October not to send McKinnon to the US to face charges on health grounds, citing his Asperger's Syndrome as a potential suicide risk and so ruling it would breach his human rights if he were to be sent.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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