The mother of Gary McKinnon, Janis Sharp, has spoken of her relief on hearing that the UK government would be withdrawing the extradition request for her son.
The decision was made by home secretary Theresa May on Tuesday in the House of Commons, who explained that the suicide risk of McKinnon due to his Asperger's syndrome meant it was too much of a risk to extradite him.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday attended by V3, Sharp thanked all those that had helped raise attention around his situation and protest in his favour, arguing the decision today has helped save his life.
"It's been a life-saving decision because Gary doesn't travel abroad, he doesn't go on holiday, so to be taken from everything you know, thousands of miles away, is so terrible to him and so I can understand he felt he would rather be dead," she said.
Sharp also said that even though the decision did not remove the possibility of a trial in the UK, this was a far better situation than the threat of extradition.
"We can deal with that [a case] here. The only thing we asked was for him to be tried here. He's lost 10 years of his life but we can deal with this now."
Sharp also spoke of the darker moments during the 10-year ordeal, explaining how the issue had affected her son.
"It was horrendous, it was like being in the dark all the time. Gary used to be musical but he hasn't touched an instrument for years because he couldn't face it, he wasn't allowed online, so he didn't have an outlet. He used to run but he stopped that too," she explained.
"It's such a waste of talent. They [governments] should look at these hackers, people with Asperger's syndrome because they are such an asset, and would work so hard.
"It's been awful watching Gary going downhill so badly, but it was such a relief to see him smile for the first time in so many years today."
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