MPs call on PM to intervene in Lauri Love extradition case

Dozens of MPs sign anti-extradition letter ahead of Love's appeal

More than 70 MPs have called on the prime minister to intervene in alleged computer hacker Lauri Love's extradition to the US, writing to the UK attorney general to warn of "potentially fatal consequences" if he stands trial there.

The cross-party group of Parliamentarians, including digital minister Matt Hancock, Love's constituency MP, have instead called for the 32-year-old to face trial in the UK.

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Love is accused of hacking into various US government bodies including NASA, the FBI and the Department of Defense from 2012 to 2013.

A Westminster magistrate approved his extradition in September 2016, but Love appealed against it, and will have his appeal heard on 28 and 29 November at the Royal Courts of Justice.

If he is convicted in the US, where he would stand three separate trials, he could face up to 99 years in prison, and a potential $9 million fine.

But Love, who has Asperger Syndrome, also suffers from severe eczema that is resistant to antibiotics, and has major depression. Medical experts have attested in court that he could commit suicide in a US prison, which his lawyers argued may not meet his needs. 

Now, 73 MPs have signed a letter calling on attorney general Jeremy Wright and prime minister Theresa May to speak to president Donald Trump about the matter.

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They wrote: "We have no doubt in mind that there will be potentially fatal consequences if the United States chooses to pursue this extradition."

"We would ask you to please make representations to your American counterparts, if you have not already done so, to request that they take account of all the relevant medical evidence," they added, "and either cede jurisdiction in Mr Love's case to the UK or facilitate a deferred prosecution agreement, preventing this vulnerable and mentally unwell man from being placed in a situation where he will most probably take his own life."

Love's legal team is expected to offer new evidence at his appeal, with human rights group Liberty set to be involved as well.

Naomi Colvin, from the Courage Foundation, which provides Love with support for his appeal, said: "To the best of my knowledge, and that of Lauri's legal team and his family, the UK government has not made any kind of representation to Donald Trump asking for us to be able to try Lauri here instead of him being extradited to the United States.

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"More than a hundred MPs signed a letter to Barack Obama last year about Lauri and I don't think the government did anything to act on those concerns either."

The letter to former president Obama, sent in October 2016, asked for him to drop his extradition request on humanitarian grounds, but the Obama administration did not comply.

Picture: Royal Courts of Justice/Credit: Bigstock

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