Alleged hacker Lauri Love prepares to appeal his extradition to the US as a November date is set

Lucy White
Lauri Love has been accused of hacking computers used by US Federal Agencies (Source: Getty)

A date has been set for the High Court appeal of Lauri Love's extradition, as the alleged hacker faces up to 99 years in a US jail.

The appeal will be heard on the 28 and 29 November 2017 by a full divisional court, meaning at least two judges will be present.

A British judge ruled last September that 32-year-old Love, who has been accused of hacking computers used by US Federal Agencies and private businesses and misusing the data he obtained, should be extradited to face trail in the US.

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However, the lawyers are appealing the extradition on the basis that he should be tried in the UK rather than the US and that the extradition would breach his human rights.

Love has Asperger's syndrome and suffers from bouts of severe depression. His lawyers contend that because of these conditions, detaining him in what solicitor Karen Todner called a “notoriously dangerous prison in New York” would breach his right to freedom from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The prison Todner was referring to is the New York Metropolitan Detention Center, where Love would likely be kept while awaiting trial.

Earlier this year, three staff at the facility were charged with sexual assault on inmates.

Love's lawyers will also try to invoke the “forum bar”, which was introduced in 2013 and allows for a person to face trial in the UK instead of being extradited.

The forum bar can be used where a substantial part of the alleged criminal behaviour was performed in the UK, and where it is “in the interests of justice” for the person to remain in the UK.

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Love's case has striking parallels to that of Gary McKinnon, who had been accused of similar crimes and suffered from similar conditions to Love and in whose case the idea of a forum bar was discussed.

McKinnon's extradition was eventually blocked by then-home secretary Theresa May, who was concerned that he was at risk of suicide.

But May has since removed this discretionary power from the home secretary, leaving it in the hands of judges to decide whether a person should be extradited.

As well as Karen Todner of Kaim Todner solicitors, Love will be represented by barristers Ben Cooper and Edward Fitzgerald QC of Doughty Street Chambers. Todner and Cooper also represented McKinnon.

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