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House of Lords to hear UK NASA hacker's case

Gary McKinnon's US extradition dispute continues

Gary McKinnon, the UK hacker behind what's been described as the biggest military hack of all time, has won the right to have his case against extradition to the US heard by the House of Lords.

The decision gives McKinnon and his legal team another chance to challenge the extradition, having argued previously that the US authorities acted in an "oppressive" manner to secure his removal from the U.K.

McKinnon has always maintained that, since the alleged offences took place in the UK, his trial should take place here and not in the US. No date has been set for the House of Lords hearing and he remains on bail.

"Gary McKinnon is delighted to learn of this important development," said his barrister, Ben Cooper.

McKinnon, who is accused of causing £475,000 worth of damage to computers by hacking into systems belonging to the Pentagon, NASA and the US military from his home in North London, could face a life sentence in jail with no chance of repatriation if he is extradited to the US.

McKinnon, who hacked into the US systems shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, is the first UK hacker to face extradition to the U.S. The case has been widely viewed as an attempt by US prosecutors to deter other would-be hackers.

At a hearing in February that went against McKinnon, his lawyers claimed that under human rights law he had a right to be tried in the UK.

They accused US investigators of trying to coerce McKinnon into accepting a secret plea bargain by threatening him with a long prison sentence if he did not collaborate.

See also:

UFO hacker loses extradition appeal

Judge gives nod to hacker's extradition

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