Lauri Love’s Lawyer Says U.S. Won’t Appeal Extradition RulingBy
The U.S. abandoned efforts to extradite British computer activist Lauri Love, according to his lawyer, prompting a London court to remove his bail conditions on Monday.
Two weeks after a High Court judge ruled Love shouldn’t be tried abroad, his lawyer Ben Cooper told a magistrates court that American authorities had decided not to appeal the decision and “conceded his discharge.”
Love was arrested in the U.K. in 2013 and accused by the U.S. of stealing “massive amounts” of confidential data from government agencies and departments including the U.S. Army and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. In his ruling, the High Court judge said that if true, Love’s offenses are “serious” and that he should be tried in the U.K. There are no charges against him in the U.K.
At his extradition hearing in June 2016, a court heard how Love, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, could be a suicide risk if he was extradited. In September of that year, a magistrate ruled that he should be sent to the U.S. to face charges.
Liberty, a human rights group that intervened in the case, said those suspected of committing crimes in the U.K. should be tried in Britain, “not packed off to foreign courts and unfamiliar legal systems.”
Love’s case is akin to that of Gary McKinnon, who also has Asperger’s and was accused of hacking into U.S. military computers. McKinnon ultimately avoided extradition in 2012 after then-Home Secretary Theresa May said there was "such a high risk of him ending his life," it would be against his human rights to send him to the U.S.