Medicine

United Kingdom judges block U.S. extradition of alleged hacker Lauri Love

United Kingdom judges block U.S. extradition of alleged hacker Lauri Love

The 33-year-old from Suffolk is alleged to have stolen huge amounts of data in a spate of hacking attacks on US agencies including the FBI, US Central Bank, Federal Reserve, US Army and NASA in 2012 and 2013. The ruling in the British student's appeal against extradition to the USA, where he faced solitary confinement and a potential 99-year prison sentence, was decided in his.

Lauri Love's appeal against extradition succeeds, but he will face trail in the UK.

However, his supporters had warned if he was extradited there was a "high risk" he would kill himself.

"The way that mental health is dealt with in America is not in any way therapeutic", he told the BBC.

However, the decision lays the groundwork for British prosectors to take on the case, with the judges noting "it would not be oppressive to prosecute Love in England for the offences alleged against him". "I have Asperger's and I have depression, so suicide is a real risk".

The ruling came down today after Love's attorneys argued that he suffered from depression and was at risk of dying by suicide if he were placed in solitary confinement in the U.S., a disciplinary tactic seen by most of the developed world as torture. The forum bar was introduced in 2013 after the extradition to the United States of Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon was blocked by Theresa May, in her former role as home secretary, or interior minister. A lower court in London had approved his extradition in 2016.

He added: "Pragmatically, the United Kingdom is the only place where Lauri Love can be tried".




While online hacktivist solidarity networks, like #FreeAnons, have pushed a far-reaching social media campaign to raise support for #TrialAtHome, organizations like campaign group Liberty and the Courage Foundation have supported Love legally and financially throughout the lengthy trial and appeals process.

"With any luck, today's ruling will mean that prosecuting authorities finally start respecting the clear will of the British public: we do not extradite our geeks to face medieval punishment in the United States", Colvin said in a statement.

The CPS may also decide to compile a new case with USA law enforcement, a move urged by the appeal judges.

Emerging from the court, Mr Love said: "This is not just for myself".

He was facing decades in USA prison at the time of his death.

"I am greatly relieved that I am no longer facing the prospect of being locked up for potentially the rest of my life in a country I have never visited", he said following the ruling. "This legal struggle has defined my life for the past four years".

Love added that he hoped the case would set a "precedent so this will not happen to people in the future". "I'm not looking forward to being prosecuted but I think there's a better chance that it will be done justly and fairly in the U.K".


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