Threat Management

NASA hacker loses another appeal, few options remain

Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who broke into NASA and U.S. Department of Defense computers, has lost another appeal in his quest to avoid extradition to the United States.

McKinnon, 43, has lost every major legal battle to stay in Britain, and was informed Friday that the British High Court would not review a decision from an earlier appeal, essentially rejecting the claim that he should stay in the country because of his medical problems, according to published reports.

His lawyers have argued that would be at risk of a mental breakdown if extradited, due to complications from his diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. His lawyer, Karen Todner, has now made a direct appeal to President Obama.

“I have today sent a letter to President Barack Obama signed by 40 members of a cross-parliamentary group of MPs asking him to step in to bring this shameful episode to an end," Todner said in a news release. "It is a sad state of affairs if this government cannot protect our most vulnerable of citizens."

McKinnon has few options left to him. He has 28 days to appeal Friday's decision and his lawyer said she may next try to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to reports.

He faces up to 70 years in a U.S. prison if convicted on all the charges against him.

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