Timeline: Gary McKinnon on the brink of extradition

The full saga of hacker Gary McKinnon's fight to avoid extradition to the US.

UPDATED: Admitted hacker Gary McKinnon is on the point of extradition after cracking into NASA and Pentagon systems in 2001 and 2002.

McKinnon has said the hacks were harmless and that he was just looking for proof of the existence of aliens. Since the hacks, he's also been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

He has been trying to avoid extradition to the US, where he could face a long sentence in an American jail. Home Secretary Alan Johnson has refused to step in.

Here's our timeline of how it's all gone down.

February 2007: Alleged NASA hacker begins extradition fight

Lawyers for McKinnon begin their fight to stop his extradition to the US. McKinnon admits accessing the computers, but he claimed that he was only looking for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

October 2007: McKinnon given leave to appeal hacking extradition

After making a failed case to the High Court, the House of Lords give McKinnon another chance to appeal his extradition to the US, on the grounds that US prosecuting authorities were coercive and threatening during plea bargaining discussions.

June 2008: British hacker takes appeal to Law Lords

McKinnon continues his fight against extradition and begins his case at the House of Lords. McKinnon's lawyers claim that an extradition could see him sentenced for anything up to 45 years.

July 2008: Hacker McKinnon loses final appeal

The hacker loses his appeal to the Law Lords. The only option now is the European courts.

August 2008: Hacker McKinnon gets extradition delay

The European Court of Human Rights grants McKinnon a two-week delay on his extradition, giving it a chance to look at his case.

August 2008: Hacker faces justice after lost Euro appeal

The European courts reject the appeal. Plans are made to appeal to the Home Secretary, which are also rejected.

12 January 2009: McKinnon could be tried for hacker crimes in Britain

McKinnon's lawyers say he will plead guilty to a UK offence under the Misuse of Computers Act. The request has already been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

15 January 2009: Gary McKinnon and supporters make last-ditch appeal

McKinnon and supporters make a public appeal before the High Court on whether they will accept his bid to be tried in the UK.

23 January 2009: Hacker McKinnon can challenge US extradition

McKinnon achieves a victory, as he is granted a judicial review to challenge his case in the High Court.

24 February 2009: Gary McKinnon supported by anti-terror law watchdog

Independent reviewer of ant-terror laws Lord Carlile gives his backing for McKinnon to have a UK trial.

26 February 2009: CPS will not prosecute McKinnon in UK

The Crown Prosecution Service decides not to prosecute McKinnon for computer misuse, claiming the charges don't match what he has been accused of in the US.

17 March 2009: McKinnon just looking for 'little green men'

Terry Waite is the latest high-profile supporter of McKinnon, saying that he was "harmless" and "common sense" was needed.

10 June 2009: Will High Court stop McKinnon's US extradition?

A round-up of McKinnon's journey to his High Court judicial review which could decide his fate.

16 July 2009: Conservatives lose Gary McKinnon extradition battle

The government rejects a Tory call to step in and prevent McKinnon being extradited.

17 July 2009: Your Views: Gary McKinnon

IT PRO readers reveal what they think about Gary McKinnon's case - most want him to be given a job, not a jail sentence.

31 July 2009: McKinnon loses High Court appeal

McKinnon's mother is "heartbroken" after a final appeal to the High Court proves fruitless.

3 August 2009: Gary McKinnon may serve hacking time in UK

Labour leaders including Harriet Harman suggest that although McKinnon may have to go the US to face trial, he could serve his sentence in the UK.

9 September 2009: More MPs back McKinnon in extradition battle

A group of MPs from all the big parties join forces to pressure Home Secretary Alan Johnson to prevent McKinnon's extradition, largely on the grounds of his health.

9 October 2009: McKinnon loses latest battle against extradition to US

McKinnon is told he won't be able to take his fight to the new Supreme Court, and is given two weeks to come up with a new way to avoid extradition.

18 October 2009: Gary McKinnon's extradition put on hold

McKinnon finally gets some help from the Home Office, as Alan Johnson puts the extradition clock on hold to give the government time to consider a new report into the hacker's mental health.

13 November 2009: Home Affairs Committee calls for Johnson to halt the extradition of McKinnon due to his 'precarious' mental health.

26 November 2009: Johnson refuses to step in, saying that there was nothing he could do to prevent the extradition, and should proceed forthwith.

1 December 2009: A barrage of questions fails to convince Johnson that he should change his decision, though McKinnon does buy a bit of time.

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