MPs press Theresa May to explain why alleged hacker Lauri Love is being extradited to US

MPs question the attorney general and prime minister about why alleged hacker Lauri Love is to be extradited to the US, when at least 13 other hackers have been tried for US hacking offences in the UK

Prime minister Theresa May has failed to ask US president Donald Trump to allow Lauri Love, the British engineering student accused hacking US government computer systems, to be tried in the UK – despite serious concerns about his health – his supporters claim.

More than 70 members of Parliament have written to the attorney general Jeremy Wright and the prime minister, questioning why the 32-year-old engineering student cannot be tried in the UK courts over US hacking allegations.

Love faces a 99-year prison sentence, huge fines and the prospect of long-running trials in three US states, after being accused of breaking into computer systems belonging to US government agencies, including the FBI, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Missile Defense Agency.

“If Mr Love has committed a crime, he should be prosecuted and justice should be served. We believe that if he is extradited, there is a great probability that he will end his own life. This has been confirmed by eminent medical experts who judge Mr Love’s suicide risk to be very high,” the MPs wrote in a two-page letter (shown in full below).

Love’s case will be heard in the court of appeal on 27 and 28 November 2017 in front of lord chief justice Ian Burnett. It will be the first test in the appeal court of the forum bar (see box below) – introduced following Gary McKinnon’s 10-year battle against extradition to the US to face hacking charges – to give vulnerable defendants the right to argue that their cases should be heard in the UK.

Love’s legal team is expected to argue that a judgement made last year in favour of his extradition did not properly consider the forum bar, and is expected to consider new evidence on the harsh conditions inside US prisons that mean Love would be unlikely to receive the care he needs for his mental and physical health conditions.

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