THE FATE of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who looks set to face trial in the US, has led to a surge in support and sympathy from around the globe.

Ivan Corea, from the UK Autism Foundation (UKAF), has this week taken further action to support Gary McKinnon after his direct appeal to American President Barack Obama failed to halt his looming extradition.

Meanwhile musicians Sir Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde and Dave Gilmour have also appealed directly to the president in a version of folk song Chicago (We Can Change the World) by Graham Nash.

Asperger's sufferer Mr McKinnon, of Crouch End, hacked into 97 American military computers at the Pentagon and Nasa between 2001 and 2002 in an apparent search for evidence of extra-terrestrial life.

The US authorities want Mr McKinnon to be tried and punished on American soil, and this week a High Court battle to keep him in the UK was lost.

Ivan Corea, whose son Charin has an autistic spectrum disorder and attends St John's School in Chigwell, set up UKAF with his wife Charika in 2008.

He said: 'Gary McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome by Professor Simon Baron Cohen of Cambridge University.

“He is no terrorist and he did not profit by selling any sensitive material, he says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

“Gary McKinnon has admitted that he has done wrong by hacking into US computers and all we are asking is for Gary to be tried in the UK.

“President Obama, with the stroke of his pen, can change things for Gary McKinnon.”

Mr McKinnon has won backing from politicians, such as Ilford North MP Lee Scott, David Cameron, Peter Hain and Boris Johnson. The online petition, which asks for Gary to be tried in the UK, has the full support of Mrs Janice Sharp, the mother of Gary McKinnon, who has been protesting on her son's behalf.

Organisers are hoping that thousands will sign as Mr McKinnon's lawyers are given 28 days to appeal against the High Court decision to allow the extradition to go ahead.

Sign the petition at