A Suffolk man has said he would rather die than face trial in America for charges of cyber-hacking, which could see him locked up for decades.
Lauri Love, from Stradishall, is accused of stealing huge amounts of data from US agencies, including the FBI, the Federal Reserve and NASA, during a spate of online attacks in 2012 and 2013.
Last year, UK officials authorised an extradition order, but Mr Love is appealing the decision in the High Court as he claims he would be a suicide risk if put under trial in America.
If he is found guilty of the charges, Mr Love, who has Asperger’s syndrome, drug-resistant eczema and depression, could be sent to prison for up to 99 years and be dealt fines of £7 million.
Speaking to The Telegraph, 32-year-old Mr Love, who was suspended from an electrical engineering course at the University of Suffolk, said: “I won’t go to America, but I might die – that’s my alternative.”
He added: “It’s a bit morbid to count the number of times you’ve had suicidal thoughts, but it was getting to be six to 12 times a day at a peak last winter.”
However, during the interview, Mr Love showed his spirit had not been completely crushed by the ordeal, hinting that he may propose to his girlfriend during the High Court hearing, a date for which has yet to be confirmed.
Sarah Harrison, director of the Courage Foundation, which runs Mr Love’s defence fund and support campaign, has previously slammed the decision to send him to America.
In November last year, she said: “I am dismayed to hear that Lauri Love’s extradition request has been approved, as this puts him directly in harm’s way and fails to protect his human rights.”