Alleged UK hacker blocks extradition to US

08 February, 2018, 12:19 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Lauri Love

US officials requested Love's extradition on cyber-hacking charges alleging he compromised government networks between October 2012 and October 2013 and stole data.

The 32-year-old British student accused of hacking into U.S. government websites, will not be extradited to face trial in America, the high court has ruled. His lawyers said it would be "unjust and oppressive" to send him to the face trial. The CPS has 14 days to find new arguments with which to appeal this ruling.

Royal Courts of Justice judges ruled this morning that extraditing Love to the United States, where he would face three separate trials, would be "oppressive" owing to the 32-year-old's likely determination to commit suicide in a U.S. prison, considering any measures to prevent him from doing so further detrimental to his mental and physical health, with the resulting stress worsening a severe eczema condition he has, which would then impact depression he suffers from.

It is unclear if agents of the U.S. government will appeal to the Court of Appeal or the UK Supreme Court. 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.

He further opined that extradition would cause severe depression, which would spur Love's determination to commit suicide, whether in the USA or in England; and just one notion to take him off suicide watch would allow for the act to be committed. Lauri Love, won his case in the High Court of England and Wales after his lawyers argued there was a serious risk that he would kill himself. Love's legal team had previously emphasized that the accused should stand trial, and, if convicted, sentenced in the United Kingdom. As Courage Case Director Naomi Colvin said, 'This ruling is a massive victory for free expression online, for the fair treatment of neurodiverse people and for those of us who have drawn attention to the dire treatment of hackers and information activists in the United States'.

But the Court of Appeal ruled extradition would be "oppressive" because of his physical and mental condition.

"There is an ongoing problem with people with autism in the justice system - they have actually been debating it in Westminster Hall".

Love said outside the London courthouse he hopes his case spurs discussion about how people with mental health issues are handled by the justice system.

His legal case sets a precedent that could be relevant to future extradition cases, because it is the first successful use of a legal provision called the "forum bar" which allows British judges to block extradition if it is not in the interests of justice.

For his part, Fitzgerald, on behalf of Love, previously told the court: "On a pragmatic level, the very fact of being taken away from England exposes him to a high risk of suicide". It ruled that the Federal Bureau of Prisons' "protocols for supporting those with Asperger syndrome did not address the complexity of the problems", adding that the USA system presented "a real risk".



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