LONDON, Sept. 16 (UPI) — A London court ruled Friday that activist Lauri Love can be extradited to the United States to face charges of hacking into government websites.
Love, 31, has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and argued at a hearing in June that his illness should disqualify him from extradition. Testimony from the hearing indicated Love feared his health would deteriorate and he could die if he is convicted and imprisoned in the United States.
He is accused of hacking into the computers of the FBI, the Federal Reserve and Defense Department missile defense centers, starting in 2012. If convicted he could receive 99 years imprisonment, but is seeking a trial in the United Kingdom.
At Friday’s hearing, Love was granted bail, pending further legal action. He can appeal the case within 14 days, and the British Home Secretary must approve an extradition. His attorney, Karen Todner, said after the hearing his case would go before Britain’s Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
The case is regarded as a test of the “forum bar”, which allows courts to block extradition and try a citizen in Britain if it is in the interests of justice. The practice was introduced by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.