Alleged hacker’s father thanks Theresa May for law that protected his son

Lauri Love

The father of alleged hacker Lauri Love has praised Theresa May for legislation that stopped his son’s extradition to the USA.

On Tuesday Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Ouseley permitted an appeal against extradition by Mr Love, 32, from Stradishall.

But their judgement adds: “It would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him.”

They questioned the adequacy of mental health care in US prisons fro Mr Love who has Asperger’s Syndrome.

The High Court has used the Forum Bar to extradition which was brought in in 2013 by then Home Secretary Theresa May. It bars extradition in cases where a substantial part of the alleged crime was in the ‘requested state’ – in this case England – and extradition would not be in the interests of justice.

Mr Love’s supporters said there was a ‘high risk’ of self-harm if he was extradited for allegedly stealing data from US agencies, including the Federal Reserve bank, Defense Department and FBI in 2012 and ‘13.

On Wednesday Mr Love’s father Rev Alexander Love told the Bury Free Press: “This is legislation of which Theresa May can justifiably be proud. Now, the Lord Chief Justice has taken this thing she did and made it work in a way that’s correct.

“The DNA of our justice system is about a punishment that fits the crime, not someone being locked up for decades in a foreign country.”

If convicted in the USA Mr Love could have faced 99 years jail but the UK maximum sentence is three years.

Rev Love added: “Lauri has been suffering all this for four years.

“Yesterday I saw him with a smile on his face that I’ve not seen for years. It was like there had been an eclipse of the sunshine in his face and the moon has moved aside.”

Of the future, he said: “There is a cleverness about Lauri. If that was used in the correct way, it could make the internet a safer place.”

Mr Love’s lawyers Kaim Todner Solicitors’ extradition department, said: “This has been a landmark judgment, not just because it is the first time that the Forum Bar has successfully been argued, but also because it is a very rare occasion on which the English courts have discharged a requested person on a United States extradition request.”

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