'If Gary McKinnon is sent to U.S. I fear he will kill himself': Top Asperger's expert warns 'cyber-terrorist' will not survive jail
Gary McKinnon: 'No terrorist agenda', says Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
The campaign to prevent the extradition of Gary McKinnon has received crucial backing from one of the world’s leading experts in autism, who says the military hacker had ‘no terrorist agenda’ and poses ‘no harm to society’.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen concludes the 43-year-old Asperger’s sufferer may take his own life if extradited to America, and should be prosecuted instead in the UK.
In a detailed medical report obtained by the Daily Mail, which is campaigning on Gary’s behalf, the Cambridge University-based expert says the hacker should be treated in the same way as a child, given the severity of his Asperger’s.
Professor Baron-Cohen also says that Gary – who hacked into 97 NASA and Pentagon computers, and is accused of ‘cyberterrorism’ by the U.S. – was acting out of ‘altruism’ in seeking to expose what he believed was a cover-up of the existence of alien life.
The emergence of the report, prepared for a legal review of the Home Office’s decision to allow Gary’s extradition, heaps yet more pressure on Home Secretary Alan Johnson to halt the process.
The Home Office has insisted the diagnosis of Gary’s Asperger’s in September 2008 - long after extradition proceedings began - is insufficient grounds to halt his removal to the U.S., where he faces a maximum 60-year jail term.
Professor Baron-Cohen, who is professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and director of the internationally renowned Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, assessed Gary in September last year.
Gary told the professor that he hacked into the U.S. computers between 2001 and 2002 because he believed information was being hidden about clean energy, and the existence of UFOs.
The report says: ‘In my view his motivation was unrelated to any terrorist agenda, nor did he have any wish to cause harm, damage or loss to the U.S. or any individual.
Desperate: Gary with his mother Janis who has fought to stop his extradition
'He appears to have ended up committing a crime without any real understanding of the social, legal or political importance of the consequences.
‘The fact that he left notes on the computer he hacked into, telling the users that their security was useless, shows that he was also wanting to alert the authorities that they needed to improve their security.
‘Tragically, this narrow attention-to detail, and relentless pursuit-of the truth, together with his reduced social awareness, has led him to act in a way that has brought him into serious trouble.
‘It is important to recognise that his emotional age or social intelligence is at the level of a child, even if his intelligence is systemising at an advanced level.
In terms of criminal responsibility, it might be more appropriate that he be judged as having the mind of a child who inadvertently breaks a rule . . . unaware of how his behaviour will be viewed by others.’
Recommending that Gary be prosecuted in the UK, Professor Baron-Cohen concludes: ‘Mr McKinnon actually poses no harm to society as he was motivated by an altruistic pursuit of the truth.’
The expert said he scored 43 out of 50 points on the Autism Spectrum Quotient, which he describes as a ‘very high scoring range, in terms of the number of autistic traits held’.
He describes Gary as having ‘extreme difficulties with social awareness and empathy’.
The report also casts light on the complexities of Gary’s life. Professor Baron-Cohen says: ‘As an adult, he is unaware of his socially inappropriate actions (eg he sat using the computer during Christmas lunch), his inadvertent faux pas (eg he told a woman she had gained weight, which was true, forgetting to mention she looked better for it), and he frequently loses jobs through not having the social skills to resolve interpersonal issues.
‘I also confirmed the presence of unusually strong, narrow interests, and extreme repetitive behaviour.
'For example, as a toddler he was obsessed with the stars and being an astronaut. In adulthood, he became obsessed with computers.’
Support for Gary has poured in since the Mail launched its ‘Affront to British Justice’ campaign last week.
Supporters include David Cameron, Nick Clegg and David Blunkett.
On Monday, the Home Secretary was warned in the Commons of ‘growing anger across the country’ over the failure to halt the extradition.
Mr Johnson claims he is powerless to act, insisting it is up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether to charge Gary in the UK.
However Gary’s supporters point out that they are not urging Mr Johnson to prosecute. They want him to halt extradition in order to allow the DPP to reconsider Gary’s case.Fonte:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198230/If-Gary-McKinnon-goes-prison-I-fear-kill-Top-Aspergers-expert-warns-cyber-terrorist-survive-U-S-jail.html