An accused computer hacker won his appeal [judgment, PDF] on Monday in the UK High Court of Justice [official website], stopping his extradition to the US.
Lauri Love, a British student, was indicted on charges [JURIST report] of hacking into US government websites in 2013, along with other unnamed co-conspirators, stealing huge amounts of data. He argued that the extradition would cause him to commit self-bodily harm and that there was no reason UK courts were not legally sufficient.
Lord Burnett of Maldon wrote in his decision that prosecution of Love in England was not “oppressive” given his mental condition. Love suffers from Asperger’s, anxiety and depression.
Lord Burnett found that any measures taken to prevent suicide once extradited to the US would have an adverse effect on his “very vulnerable and unstable mental and physical well-being.” He further opined that extradition would cause severe depression, which would spur Love’s determination to commit suicide, whether in the US or in England; and just one notion to take him off suicide watch would allow for the act to be committed.
The judge urges the Crown Prosecution Service [official website] to work with US authorities to effectively prosecute the case in England.
US authorities have 14 days to request an appeal on the decision.