US ‘very disappointed’ by McKinnon decision

By Charles Maggs

Theresa May's decision to block the extradition of alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon is not the action of a top ally, according to a leading US official.

Lanny Breuer, US assistant attorney general in charge of criminal cases, said the US tried to make many accommodations for British requests over the case and were upset by the home secretary's conclusion.

“We are very disappointed by the decision," he told the Financial Times.

"We value our alliance with the UK but we do not think this decision is how allies act in the matter of such importance."

The decision by May not to send McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, to the US was broadly welcomed from all sides in the Commons, but has clearly put a strain on the special relationship.

May decided that should remain in the UK because sending him to the US would infringe his human rights and given his health conditions there would be a very high chance that he would take his own life.

Although the decision was popular among the press, some have pointed to the inconsistencies of not deporting McKinnon, just weeks after extraditing fellow Asperger's sufferer Talha Ahsan on similar charges.