British hacker Gary McKinnon has expressed shock at the speed at which Home Secretary John Reid has authorised his extradition to the US.
Speaking to vnunet.com this morning, McKinnon, who heard about Reid's decision two days ago, said: "I am not surprised at the decision, but I am surprised at the speed of it.
"The last time a case came up under the same act, with Babar Ahmad, the home secretary was David Blunkett. He took 11 months to make his decision.
"I guess John Reid has a lot of other stuff on his plate that he deems to be more important, so he got [my case] out of the way."
British web developer Babar Ahmad faces extradition under the controversial Extradition Act 2003.
Last November, then Home Secretary Charles Clarke gave the go-ahead for 31 year-old to face charges in the US of running Jihadist websites. He begins his appeal on 11 July.
McKinnon, 40, confirmed to vnunet.com that he also will appeal. However, he admits that he and his legal team had expected more time to prepare.
"I was under the impression that the home secretary would have taken longer to make a decision," McKinnon told vnunet.com. "It's annoying, because that would have given us more time to sort out a judicial review."
However, McKinnon is relatively upbeat about his chances when his appeal finally reaches the High Court.
"We do feel that we have a better chance in the appeal, because we think our legal arguments weren't properly addressed by Nicholas Evans [the District Judge who recommended McKinnon for extradition in May]," he told vnunet.com.
"A higher court is a higher authority, with a well educated and experienced judge. At least we have the chance now to take the case to that level."
He has consistently claimed that he broke into the US networks to look for evidence of a cover-up of extraterrestrial technology.
McKinnon has now been fighting extradition at Bow Street Magistrates' Court for more than two years. He and his lawyers have claimed that he could end up in Guantanamo Bay.
A Home Office spokesman told the BBC last night: "Mr McKinnon had exercised his right to submit representations against return but the secretary of state did not consider the issues raised availed Mr McKinnon."
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