Decision Nears For Alleged Hacker

A judge is set to rule on the extradition of Briton Lauri Love, who faces a possible prison sentence of up to 99 years in the US.

Love is accused of being involved in a hack called #OpLastResort, which targeted parts of the US Army, the US Federal Reserve and NASA, as part of Anonymous in early 2013.

If he is extradited, he faces a maximum potential prison sentence of 99 years, according to his legal team.

District Judge Nina Tempia will not announce her ruling on 25 July, but is expected to give a date for her announcement.

Both sides will be able to appeal against the ruling.

Love told Sky News: “It’s been difficult.

“I was already quite unwell at the time of my arrest, I had long term depression and anxiety issues and being arrested, well that was stressful enough, and facing the extradition is a whole quantum leap above that.

“Luckily I’ve got a great support network of friends and family, and the courage foundation, and lots of people on the internet who have got my back and are in my corner, which helps, but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

Gemma Lindfield, an extradition barrister, told Sky News: “It’s always very difficult to challenge extradition.

“The courts tend to proceed on the basis that every extradition request is made in good faith.

“However, it seems that he does have a number of good arguments to raise.

“And so although it will be an uphill struggle, it’s not a foregone conclusion.”

The hearing follows two days of witness testimony earlier in July.

Westminster magistrates heard about Love’s diagnoses for depression and Asperger’s syndrome.

He described the “urges, despair, helplessness and hopelessness” that would compel him to exercise “the one thing I would have control of – my body”.

With his parents, a prison chaplain and a prison officer watching, Love told the court that “he couldn’t imagine anything worse” for him than being imprisoned in the US.

“I don’t entertain any prospect of justice in the USA,” he said.

Love’s lawyers argue that he is facing extradition for alleged crimes committed in the UK, and should be prosecuted here, and that extradition would have a devastating impact on his physical and emotional well-being.

Autism expert Professor Simon Baron Cohen testified that “about two-thirds of people with Asperger’s have suicidal thoughts … the overwhelming priority is to keep him [Love] alive”.

#OpLastResort was launched by Anonymous as a reaction to the death of Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old computer scientist and activist who killed himself while awaiting trial in the US on charges of computer fraud.

In 2012, the then Home Secretary Theresa May intervened to prevent Gary McKinnon, who allegedly hacked the US Department of Defense and who was also diagnosed with depression and Asperger’s, being extradited to the US.

Love’s case is seen as the first proper test of the so-called “forum bar” – measures that allow UK courts to decide whether a person should stand trial in the UK or abroad – introduced as a result.

Love told Sky News: “The whole process has changed a lot of my attitudes, as any difficult life experience should be a learning opportunity.

“So I’ll draw many lessons from this. But I won’t give up trying to work for a better world.

“I’ll just try and find ways that are less likely to result in conflict.”

Source:http://www.manxradio.com/news/uk-news/lauri-love-decision-nears-for-alleged-hacker/

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