Court sets September date for Lauri Love's extradition decision

The 31-year-old faces up to 99 years in US prison on hacking charges

Lauri Love, the 31-year-old Briton accused of involvement in a hack on US government institutions in 2013, will find out on Friday 16 September whether or not he will be extradited to America for prosecution.

Love faces up to 99 years in prison in the US, where he is suspected of involvement in hacking attacks that took place in 2013 against various US government agencies, including the Federal Reserve and NASA, under the auspices of Anonymous's #OpLastResort campaign.

Over the course of the extradition hearing, which took place mainly at the end of June with closing arguments being made today, the defence argued that Love is at risk of suicide and serious harm if extradited to the US. Giving evidence, Love's father said it would be a "tragedy" if the extradition were to proceed, adding "the probability is quite high" that his son would kill himself.

Today, Love tweeted during the hearing: "CPS prosecutor again suggests I might be remanded to prison for my own protection against suicide pending extradition to the USA. Not cool."

District Judge Nina Tempia, who heard the case at Westminster Magistrates Court, released Love on bail until she rules on whether or not he will be extradited in eight weeks' time.

Love was originally arrested at his parents' home in Suffolk in October 2013, when 25 items of his computing equipment were seized by the National Crime Agency, on suspicion of offences committed under the Computer Misuse Act, but was released on police bail without charge.

Then, in late January 2014, he was issued with a Section 49 RIPA order, compelling him to hand over encryption keys, although he responded saying he had no information to provide. In July that year, he was released from police bail.

While this is, so far, the extend of any legal action against Love in the UK, in the US charges have been filed in three separate jurisdictions: New Jersey in October 2013, and the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of Virginia in February and July 2014 respectively. The New Jersey and Eastern Virginia disctircts both subsequently revised these indictments with so-called superceding indictments, and on 21 May 2015, an arrest warrant was issued by the latter of the two.

It is these charges that led to Love's arrest on 15 July 2015 and the extradition hearing that took place this summer.

Main image credit: Ministry of Justice UK on Flickr

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