Autistic hacker extradition would be “tragedy”, court hears

US government wants Lauri Love to face trial in the US over 'hacking of servers'

binary on a screen with words 'hacking attack'

A man accused of hacking into US government servers should not be extradited to that country for prosecution, a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' court heard yesterday, according to the BBC.

Authorities in the US want to prosecute Lauri Love, 31, of Stradishall, Suffolk, for his role in an unauthorised access of its systems in the US Federal Reserve and the Missile Defense Agency in 2012 and 2013. Love faces extradition requests from three courts in the US.

Love's father, Rev Alexander Love, told magistrates that his son, who has Asperger syndrome and depression, would likely kill himself if extradited to the US.

Rev Love, who works with vulnerable people at risk of suicide, told the court that he often saw how people killed themselves as the only solution to their problems.

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He said of his 31-year-old son that he was someone "who strikes me as somebody who will do this. The probability is quite high".

Rev. Love added that he had the "bitter experience" of leading funerals for those that had committed suicide and how everyone "didn't see it coming".

He said that in his son's case "we do see it coming, that's the big difference".

The defence moved to invoked a "forum bar" to challenge the extradition request, the BBC said, which is a statutory bar that a person can request to argue against extradition. This was enacted after a perceived imbalance in the UK's arrangements with the US over extradition following the Gary McKinnon case, and argues that alleged crimes that had taken place in the UK would make the UK the proper forum to hear the case, and not the US.

Love told the court: "If I have justice it will be here in the UK." The BBC reported that Love said the "deck was stacked" against him, because the US justice system "coerces" people into pleading guilty to get reduced sentences. He doubted that he would have justice if sent to the US.

"If I was sent to America under horrific conditions those urges to bring my life to an end would be a lot stronger," he told the court.

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"I will exercise what remains of my self-control and I will take my life."

The case was adjourned until 20 July.

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