originally published by: The Guardian
21st July 2010
The computer hacker Gary McKinnon could avoid extradition to the US by serving time in a British prison, David Cameron has suggested after raising the issue in talks with Barack Obama. Following his meeting at the White House, the prime minister told BBC Radio 5 Live that the government has discussed with the US ambassador the possibility of ” some of the sentence, if there is a prison sentence, being served in a British prison”.
“That is one potential outcome and I’ll be working very hard to make sure that these things are discussed between the two governments. If we can reach a settlement then all to the good. I don’t want to make a prediction because there are many difficult issues that have to be worked through.”
His remarks suggest officials are nearing a deal to avoid McKinnon’s extradition to the US, where he faces up to 60 years in prison. Last night, in his first remarks on the issue as prime minister, Cameron said McKinnon was accused of a “very important and significant crime” but he hoped that “a way through” could be found.
Speaking at a White House press conference alongside Obama, Cameron said: “Clearly there is a discussion going on between the British and the Americans about this, but I don’t want to prejudice those discussions.”Obama said a solution should be found within the law but in the context of the “co-operative relationship” between the US and the UK.