United Kingdom blocks USA extradition of alleged hacker Lauri Love

039;Computer hacker' wins hearing against extradition to the US

Alleged hacker Lauri Love has won his appeal against extradition

US authorities have been fighting for Mr Love, 33, to be extradited to stand trial after he allegedly stole data from agencies including the Federal Reserve, US army, defence department and FBI.

But today the UK's Lord Chief Justice and Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that Love should not be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial, on the grounds that it would not be in the "interests of justice" for a number of reasons, including the "high risk" that he would kill himself. US authorities say Love was connected to Anonymous, an global group of hackers, and that his actions had caused millions of dollars' worth of damage. The CPS has 14 days to find new arguments with which to appeal this ruling. Twelve months later, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service quietly announced that he had been released from bail.

Speaking outside the court, Love said he hoped he had set a "precedent so this will not happen to people in the future".

USA officials demanded he be tried there but Mr Love, who has Asperger syndrome, said.

Love was understandably just as keen to get the devices back, claiming at the time that there was no "overt evidence of criminality sufficient to bring prosecution".

In their ruling, the High Court judges raised the possibility that Love could be put on trial in England, saying that that wouldn't be considered "oppressive" and that he would be much less of a suicide risk if imprisoned in England because he would be close to his family and loves ones.

Peter Caldwell, representing the U.S., said the district judge's conclusion on extradition was "reasonably open to her on the findings of fact she made".

Peter Caldwell, representing the United States, made submissions inviting the judges to dismiss Love's appeal. As Courage Case Director Naomi Colvin said, 'This ruling is a massive victory for free expression online, for the fair treatment of neurodiverse people and for those of us who have drawn attention to the dire treatment of hackers and information activists in the United States'. Love filed an appeal to Rudd's order the same month, which concluded with today's appeal ruling.

This is especially important in cases of vulnerable people like Lauri Love.

British human rights organisation Liberty was among the voices welcoming the court's decision not to extradite Love to the United States.

District Judge Tempia ruled there was nothing "unlawful or improper" in extraditing Love to America after accepting that these were, legally, three separate jurisdictions.

Love has never argued for immunity from prosecution, instead insisting that he should be tried in the United Kingdom where his crimes were committed.

For his part, Fitzgerald, on behalf of Love, previously told the court: "On a pragmatic level, the very fact of being taken away from England exposes him to a high risk of suicide". Many argue that the U.S. government wanted to make an example of Swartz and the charges were what caused him to take his own life.

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