Extradition case against 'hacker' Lauri Love rumbles on as permission to appeal granted

Love: 'Good news comes scantly between crisis and calamity.'

Lauri Love: Hacker facing '99 years' in US prison opens up about extradition nightmareIBTimes UK

Lauri Love, an alleged computer hacker, has been granted permission by the UK's High Court to appeal against his extradition to the US, where he faces a potential 99 years in prison on computer misuse charges if found guilty.

Love, from Stradishall, Suffolk, is alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve, US Army, the Department of Defense (DoD), Nasa and the FBI. Prosecutors say the 'digital protests', dating back to 2012, occurred following the death of computer programmer Aaron Swartz.

His ongoing extradition battle, the first proper test of the forum bar enacted after the case of hacker Gary McKinnon, hit a wall in November last year when UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd brushed off health concerns and said he should be handed over.

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Love has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, severe depression and antibiotic-resistant eczema.

Last year, over 100 UK MPs signed a letter to Barack Obama requesting that the hacking suspect face prosecution in the UK, if at all.

In a press release, campaigners from The Courage Foundation said UK human rights organisation Liberty has also been granted permission to intervene in the appeal.

A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.

Love's solicitor, Karen Todner, said: "The reason permission has been granted is that the High Court acknowledges that the grounds raised some issues of great importance. We [...] will continue to do everything we can to ensure prevention of his extradition."

In a statement, Love added: "Every day you wake up to some good news is a blessing, and we can't take any blessings for granted these days.

"Good news comes scantly between crisis and calamity.

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"I'm thankful the High Court has recognised the strength of our grounds for appeal and the great importance of the issues raised by the case. Now it is for the High Court to join us all in asserting the sovereignty, the values, the justice and humanity of law in the UK."

In an interview with IBTimes UK earlier this year, Love indicated he would consider taking his own life before facing trial in the US. "I will do everything at my disposal to avoid being kidnapped. If need be, that means taking matters into my own hands," he said.

He continued: "If I am put on a plane to the US, I will die. Anything in between getting on that plane and dying will just be protracted torture.

"I do still hold a reasonable optimism this case will be resolved, the extradition will be refused and light will be shed on the systematic problems with the US justice system, some humble and modest ammunition for the people trying to reform that system."

Lauri Love arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court for his extradition hearing on July 25, 2016 in London, EnglandCarl Court/Getty Images

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