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Alleged UK hacker wins US extradition fight

08 February 2018

Lauri Love, who has Asperger's syndrome, is accused of involvement in a series of hacks in 2012 and 2013 into computers at agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US army, the Missile Defense Agency and the Federal Reserve.

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where has won his appeal against extradition to the US.

Love faced a prison sentence of up to 99 years if he were extradited and found guilty in U.S. courts.

It is also still possible for the CPS - which would act on behalf of USA authorities - to take the case to the Supreme Court in a continued fight for extradition from the UK.

But Mr Love, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, argued he'd be a suicide risk if he was moved to the U.S. and should face the charges here instead. The Crown Prosecution Service will now read the judgment and consider whether to appeal today's decision to the UK Supreme Court, The Guardian reports.

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Love said: "I'm greatly relieved that I'm no longer facing the prospect of being locked up for the rest of my life in a country I've never visited".

The High Court also ruled that Love's appeal against extradition on the grounds that it would be "oppressive" succeeded, on the basis that his Asperger's syndrome, combined with his other health difficulties, would leave him either suicidal or medically unfit to enter a plea in American court proceedings.

The Courage Foundation has been supporting Mr Love in his fight and says it will continue to do so. Love's legal team had previously emphasized that the accused should stand trial, and, if convicted, sentenced in the United Kingdom.

Lord Burnett of Maldon wrote in his decision that prosecution of Love in England was not "oppressive" given his mental condition.

Delighted @laurilove has WON his appeal against extradition to US!

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"The British justice system has taken the stance that we should deal with the matter ourselves, rather than accept the USA government's demands", said the court.

"There is an ongoing problem with people with autism in the justice system - they have actually been debating it in Westminster Hall".

The High Court in London ruled that Lauri Love's extradition wouldn't be allowed, although judges said it would still be possible to prosecute him in England. However in 2012, then Home Secretary Theresa May blocked the extradition, saying that due to his medical conditions there was a high chance that McKinnon would attempt to commit suicide if sent to a USA prison.

The judges heard argument on his behalf during a hearing in November that extradition would not be in the "interests of justice" for a number of reasons. Many argue that the United States government wanted to make an example of Swartz and the charges were what caused him to take his own life.

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Alleged UK hacker wins US extradition fight