Medical

British hacking suspect will not face extradition to US

British hacking suspect will not face extradition to US

Lauri Love, 33, has for several years been battling extradition to face multiple charges for allegedly hacking into the networks of the US Federal Reserve, US Army and Nasa, among others, in 2012 and 2013.

Three different U.S. districts have filed indictments against the British national under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Love may now face a trial in the United Kingdom - but that is considered a much better option than being shipped overseas.

Love has been diagnosed with clinical depression and suffers from stress-aggravated eczema, conditions which he manages with a complex medication regime and support from his parents.

"We are delighted that the court has today recognized Lauri's vulnerability, close family connections to the United Kingdom and the potentially catastrophic consequences of extraditing him", says Emma Norton, Liberty's head of legal casework.

"The way that mental health is dealt with in America is not in any way therapeutic", Love told the BBC back in September of 2016. 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. "And if I get a 99-year sentence, it's an absurd length of time, meaning I would die in prison anyway".




"We are delighted that the court has today recognised Lauri's vulnerability, close family connections to the United Kingdom and the potentially catastrophic consequences of extraditing him", Emma Norton, head of legal rights group in the United Kingdom, said in a statement to the BBC.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett ruled that there would be a high risk of Mr Love committing suicide if he was extradited.

He was arrested at his home in Britain in October 2013. In 2012, Prime Minster Theresa May - then the home secretary - blocked a us request for McKinnon to be extradited.

The appeal process began in November 2017. The CPS, which acts on behalf of the U.S. authorities, said it will consider the judgment before deciding whether to appeal. She approved the USA extradition request based on charges that the U.K.'s Crown Prosecution Service had itself declined to pursue a case against Love (see 'Real People' Don't Want Crypto, UK Home Secretary Claims).

"If proven, these are serious offenses indeed", the judges added. In McKinnon's case, he lost his court appeals, but the extradition was eventually blocked by the UK's Home Secretary. She is now prime minister.

May blocked McKinnon's extradition the U.S. on charges of hacking offenses due to similar medical conditions. "This legal struggle has defined my life for the past four years". 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.