There has been a major development in the long-running fight by British student Lauri Love to avoid extradition to the United States, where he has been accused of hacking into various government websites.
Love, who suffers from Asperger Syndrome and depression, was arrested in October 2013 by officers of the UK’s National Crime Agency posing as UPS couriers. It has been claimed that he, and associates, stole sensitive military data and personal information related to over 100,000 US government workers. Legal experts have estimated that he could be hit by a sentence of up to 99 years in prison if convicted in the States.
You can understand, therefore, why anyone accused of hacking would prefer to be tried in the United Kingdom rather than the USA. In fact, the UK High Court has heard that there was a severe risk Lauri Love would attempt suicide before he was extradited.
Well, there’s good news today for Lauri Love, as The Guardian reports:
Lauri Love, the British student accused of hacking into US government websites, will not be extradited to face trial in America, the high court has ruled.
Lawyers for the 32-year-old, who lives in Suffolk, had argued that he should be tried for his alleged crimes in the UK and that he would be at risk of killing himself if sent to the US.
The court accepted both of the main arguments advanced by Love’s lawyers that there was no reason he could not be tried in England and that he might suffer serious damage to his health if he were extradited.
This feels like the right decision to me, but doesn’t mean it’s the end of Lauri Love’s legal fights. All eyes now turn to the Crown Prosecution Service, to see if it (with assistance from its US counterparts) will prosecute him in the United Kingdom.
The full judgment can be downloaded here.