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Alleged Suffolk computer hacker wins High Court battle against extradition to USA

PUBLISHED: 11:46 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 05 February 2018

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Picture Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Picture Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love has won his High Court appeal against extradition to the US.

Two judges sitting in London ruled in his favour on Monday - a decision greeted by a loud cheer in the packed courtroom.

Mr Love, 32, who lives with his parents near Newmarket in Suffolk, was present in court to hear the announcement by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Ouseley.

The judges declared in a written ruling: “This appeal is allowed and the appellant is discharged.”

They added: “We emphasise however that it would not be oppressive to prosecute Mr Love in England for the offences alleged against him.”

The judges heard argument on his behalf during a hearing in November that extradition would not be in the “interests of justice” for a number of reasons, including the “high risk” that Mr Love, who suffers from Asperger syndrome, would kill himself.

Authorities in America have been fighting for Mr Love to face trial on charges of cyber-hacking, which lawyers have said could mean a sentence of up to 99 years in prison if he is found guilty.

Mr Love, who also suffers from a depressive illness and severe eczema, is alleged to have stolen huge amounts of data from US agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the US army, the defence department, Nasa and the FBI in a spate of online attacks in 2012 and 2013.

His father, the Reverend Alexander Love, has said his son “fears for his life” because he did not think he could cope with the trauma of being sent to the US.

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