UK MPs call for Obama to stop Lauri Love's extradition

The hacker should face a trial in the UK rather than being sent to the US, politicians said

More than 100 MPs have called for US president Barack Obama to drop his request for hacker Lauri Love to be extradited for trial in the US on humanitarian grounds.

The letter sent to the White House explained the exceptional circumstances behind their request, mainly that Love suffers from Asperger syndrome and depression, meaning that sending him to the US to stand trial could result in his death.

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"We have no doubt that there will be potentially fatal consequences if the US chooses to pursue this extradition and prohibit Mr Love from facing a full prosecution in his home country," the letter said.

"We would ask you to intervene in this case by withdrawing the extradition order and allowing his case to be heard in the criminal justice system of the UK. You would be acting to prevent this vulnerable and mentally unwell man from being placed in a situation where he will most probably take his own life."

Engineering student Love has been accused of conspiring with others to hack into the computer systems of the US Army, Nasa, the Missile Defence Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Federal Reserve and two other governmental systems as an objection to the way the US government treated internet pioneer Aaron Schwartz. Schwartz committed suicide after he was threatened with 35 years in jail for downloading academic journals in a university library.

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The letter was drafted by Conservative MP David Burrowes, who campaigned for Gary McKinnon, who experienced similar extradition attempts, to be tried in the UK.

"The UK has prosecuted at least 12 computer hackers who have hacked US-based computer systems," the letter said. "Indeed, Love would be the first UK-based hacker to be extradited, and denied the opportunity to serve his sentence in the UK."

If Obama fails to stop the extradition, Love faces trial in three different US states for downloading confidential data about government employees including credit card details, social security numbers, phone numbers, emails between October 2012 and October 2013.

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