Labour government Home Secretary Alan Johnson appears to be trying to wash his hands of Gary McKinnon:
The Daily Telegraph reports:
Exclusive: Gary McKinnon is set to be sent to America to answer computer hacking charges after Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, told his family that he could not block his extradition on medical grounds.
By Christopher Hope and Andrew Porter
Published: 6:45PM GMT 26 Nov 2009
Mr McKinnon's family were notified of the Home Secretary's decision this afternoon. Janis Sharp, Mr McKinnon's mother, was distraught, telling The Daily Telegraph: "I can't believe it. It is a complete nonsense."
Last month Mr Johnson threw a lifeline to Mr McKinnon, who suffers from a form of autism, with a promise to examine new medical evidence "very carefully" before deciding on his extradition last month.
However in an emailed letter to Mrs Sharp, Mr Johnson is understood to have said that a decision to block the extraditon of Mr McKinnon was not in his control.
However, as Alan Johnson himself mentioned in front of the Home Affairs Committee, there may well be another attempt by Gary McKinnon's legal team to interest the European Court of Human Rights in this case
Mr McKinnon's lawyers can either seek a fresh emergency judicial review of Mr Johnson's decision at the High Court within the next seven days or appeal to the European Court of Human Rights within the next 14 days.
Tonight, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, said:
".... Finally, should Mr McKinnon be extradited, charged and convicted in the US and seek repatriation to the UK to serve a custodial sentence, the Government will of course progress his application at the very earliest opportunity.
"I know there is a concern on all sides to see a conclusion to these proceedings. It is now open to Mr McKinnon's lawyer to consider their legal options. As a consequence I do not propose to comment any further."
Note Johnson's use of the words "the Government will of course progress his application at the very earliest opportunity", trying to pretend that he somehow cares for Gary or his family, friends or supporters.
His final words imply that the case is again sub judice, but they are just as likely to be an excuse to avoid answering any questions about his own handling of the case, before the forthcoming General Election.