British hacking suspect wins United States extradition fight

Lauri Love

"I hope this sets a precedent for the future for anyone in the same position that they will be tried here". Charges were not brought in the UK, as authorities said the case would be too hard to pursue, as the evidence was in the United States.

The cross-party group of parliamentarians, including digital minister Matt Hancock, Love's constituency MP, called for the 32-year-old to face trial in the UK.

He is accused of stealing data from American agencies including the Federal Reserve, the US Army, the defence department, Nasa and the FBI in a spate of cyber attacks in 2012 and 2013.

Lawyers for Love at an extradition hearing in November said there was a high risk he would kill himself if he was sent to the United States for prosecution.

He has also been diagnosed with a depressive illness. They added: "We accept that the evidence shows that the fact of extradition would bring on severe depression and that Mr Love would probably be determined to commit suicide, here or in America". Charged with multiple offences in three US indictments, he had been facing a life prison sentence in the United States if found guilty, a fate which he has said could lead him to taking his own life.

The successful appeal mirrors the circumstances of Glasgow computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who had his extradition to the United States separately blocked in 2012. He is released on bail.

Many of O'Dwyer's supporters argued that he should not face charges under US copyright laws for offenses that were not illegal in the UK.

An order to extradite him should be quashed, the Lord Chief Justice added.




20 August 2015: Mr Love tells the he fears he will in the US.

In September 2016 a district judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled that Mr Love could be extradited.

Lord Burnett of Maldon wrote in his decision that prosecution of Love in England was not "oppressive" given his mental condition.

29 November 2017: The Court of Appeal.

The decision comes only three months after more than 70 MPs called on the prime minister to intervene in Love's extradition, writing to the United Kingdom attorney general to warn of "potentially fatal consequences" if he stands trial there.

A spokesman for Mr Love's solicitors, Kaim Todner, said it was "important" the British justice system "has taken the stance that we should deal with the matter ourselves, rather than accept the United States government's demands".

"If he is in this country his family could visit him on a weekly basis, he could telephone us on a daily basis, he will have the support of a chaplaincy and a prison service which is dedicated to the care of those with mental health issues".

Courage's case director Naomi Colvin said after the ruling: "This is the result Lauri and his family have spent four years waiting for".

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