So here we are again, with yet another twist in the ridiculously long-running Gary McKinnon extradition saga.
This time it’s around medical issues after McKinnon refused a medical assessment on the somewhat understandable ground that the man appointed by the ministry to assess his condition is not an expert in his condition. The incident adds to the outrageous treatment McKinnon has suffered at the hands of the government and its unbelievably slow handling of the case, which has dragged on since 2002 – a full decade – since his activities first came to light.
McKinnon, who suffers from Aspergers’ Syndrome, has already had six (yes, six) medical tests, with the last three all carried out by prominent medical experts working on his condition, who all proclaimed him a suicide risk if he was extradited.
The Home Office though, led by the impressively useless Theresa May, decided that another medical test was required, so it appointed someone with no direct expertise on the condition to assess McKinnon. Unsurprisingly, McKinnon’s legal team refused the test as it wouldn’t be a fair assessment. “Asperger syndrome is a complex condition and it would be impossible for anyone without specialised training to fully understand its impact,” explained Mark Lever, the chief executive of the National Autistic Society. “If Gary is forced to undergo an assessment that doesn’t take account of his needs and he is consequently extradited, it could have very serious and potentially tragic ramifications.”