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The UK’s home secretary, Amber Rudd, has signed an extradition order agreeing that hacking suspect Lauri Love should face trial in the US.
Love’s family plan to appeal against the decision.
The 31-year-old—who has Asperger’s syndrome—faces up to 99 years in prison and fears for his own life, his lawyers have said.
A home office spokesperson told Ars: “On Monday 14 November, the secretary of state, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed an order for Lauri Love’s extradition to the United States. Mr Love has been charged with various computer hacking offences which included targeting US military and federal government agencies.”
Rudd considered four so-called legal tests of the Extradition Act 2003: whether Love is at risk of the death penalty; whether specialty arrangements are in place; whether Love has previously been extradited from another country to the UK, thereby requiring consent from that country; and whether Love was previously transferred to the UK by the International Criminal Court.
However, the home secretary concluded that none of these issues applied to Love.
The extradition comes after more than 100 MPs recently penned a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to prevent Love’s extradition to the US on the grounds that the hacking suspect’s case is similar to that of British citizen Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked in 2012 by then Home Secretary Theresa May.
At the time, May introduced a forum bar to stop extradition in cases where the defendants’ human rights were said to be at risk.
But the prime minister recently noted that the legal position for the forum bar had been changed, adding that it was “now a matter for the courts.”
In September, District Judge Nina Tempia ruled that Love should be extradited to the US to face trial over the alleged hacking of the US missile defence agency, the FBI, and America’s central bank.
At the time, Tempia said that she was satisfied that the decision was “compatible” with Love’s Convention rights.
On Tuesday, the home office said in its “Lauri Love Fact Sheet”:
The legislation does not permit the home secretary to consider human rights or health issues in extradition cases, nor would it be appropriate for the home secretary to do so.
It is for a judge to decide whether or not extradition breaches an individual’s human rights, or whether their health makes it unjust or oppressive to extradite them.
Love’s lawyers now have 14 days to mount an appeal against his extradition to the US.
“We will be appealing,” Love’s father, Alexander Love told the BBC. “We are talking to our lawyers.
It was going to happen—it was inevitable—but it’s still painful.
“I cannot begin to express how much sorrow it causes me.
All we are asking for is British justice for a British citizen.”
This post originated on Ars Technica UK