back to article High Court hands Lauri Love permission to appeal extradition to US

Lauri Love, the alleged hacktivist from Stradishall, Suffolk, England, has been granted permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States. The High Court has today granted Love, 32, permission to appeal against his handover to US authorities, which was initially agreed in Westminster Magistrates' Court last …

  1. Hollerithevo

    A fool, but our fool

    Mr Love is clearly a troubled man, and does need to pay the penalty of his foolish acts, but sending him off to the grinding jaws of American 'justice'' will only destroy him -- a fate surely not commensurate with his crime. There is no evidence that he would receive any fair treatment in the USA. We don't send back criminals to third-world countries if we know they will be tortured or killed, so why would we send our own citizen to be chewed into pieces by a notoriously vindictive legal system?

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: A fool, but our fool

      Since he was hacking from the UK, I support the idea he should be tried under UK laws. While the details vary a little most Western countries have laws that make his activities illegal. I am not happy with the DO(In)J antics and pandering to the press in these cases; personally I think more than a few DO(In)J shysters should at a minimum be permanently disbarred. If someone could find a way to charge with 'Crimes against Humanity' that would be nice.

      As far as his guilt or innocence, other than proper procedures being followed to protect his rights, I am not that interested. My beef is that US shysters are more interested in making him an example than actually seeking justice. Something the Homer Cummings (US Attorney General under FDR) had problems with, shysters seeking a scalp rather than justice. The movie 'Boomerang' fictionalizes one his most prominent cases from 1924 where he proved the defendant was innocent of murder as the prosecutor and he declined to prosecute an innocent man.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: A fool, but our fool

        Plead guilty in the UK and the discount on sentence is one third. I'm not altogether happy that will mean an innocent person will always plead not guilty. However the decision in the USA seems to be between 99 years and 6 months probation.

        There is a social benefit in the guilty admitting their offence and relieving the courts of a long trial, and witnesses the trauma of giving evidence. There is no social benefit in the innocent pleading guilty just because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

        Personally, I would not extradite any culprit when the USA legal system proposed exceeding a one third discount.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: A fool, but our fool

          In this case I doubt there are many non-professional witnesses. Not that tying up Police and forensic people, thereby preventing them doing useful work is a good thing, but no one is going to be traumatised they're just going to have a few boring days at work.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: A fool, but our fool

          "There is no social benefit in the innocent pleading guilty just because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate."

          The alternatives include the real culprit going free.

          1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

            Re: A fool, but our fool

            Look on the bright side - how much money has the DOJ spent so far trying to get him extradited and failing? From a simple economic point of view they ought to quit - but Amerika is all about vengeance not justice so we can expect this to continue.

            If there was any sense on the US side they would tell Love to piss off and tell the IT security guys that they are in big trouble if they can't stop idiots hacking into their network.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A fool, but our fool

        My beef is that US shysters are more interested in making him an example than actually seeking justice.

        That, just that, is enough argument to keep him in the UK (certainly with the Orange guy nominally in charge). Yes, if there is evidence of crime he ought to receive what is due but at least he has a better chance of some justice and proportionality than in the US (comparatively, it's not all sunshine here either).

  2. Anonymous Coward

    If all else fails...

    He could always try his luck at the ecuadorian embassy...

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: If all else fails...

      Their broom cupboard is full.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If all else fails...

      I'm not sure what's worse?

      Living with Julian Assange or prison.

      Either way consent isn't an issue.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: If all else fails...

        One thing the puzzles me about Assagne complaining he's being detained by the UK: why hasn't he tried tunnelling out of the embassy?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If all else fails...

          Why no tunnel?

          The Embassy doesn't have an old-school wooden vaulting horse.

          The WW2 prisoners favoured prop to disguise the trap-door.

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch

          Re: If all else fails...

          why hasn't he tried tunnelling out of the embassy

          Shh! We don't talk about those "diplomatic channels".

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If all else fails...

          "...why hasn't he tried tunnelling out of the embassy?"

          Isn't he in a first floor flat? The downstairs neighbors might have an issue with that...

  3. pmb00cs

    UK law ought to apply, surely?

    Surely, the default position should be that a UK Citizen, allegedly committing an act that is against UK Law, in the UK, should be tried in UK Courts. I really don't understand how the Anglo-American extradition treaty could possibly allow for it to be otherwise. I recognise the potential for a grey area when the act was committed outside the UK, or potentially by someone who is not a UK citizen (although I would err towards UK laws being enforced in the UK here as well to be honest). But what the man is accused of is a crime in the UK, and he allegedly committed the crime whilst in the UK, we should be pressing for the US prosecutors to present their evidence to the CPS so they can prosecute the man under the law he has grown up with.

    1. Commswonk

      Re: UK law ought to apply, surely?

      ...we should be pressing for the US prosecutors to present their evidence to the CPS so they can prosecute the man under the law he has grown up with.

      While your post has received the upvotes it deserves for the overall sentiments expressed I would quibble slightly with the section quoted above; while he may well have "grown up with UK Law" he certainly seems to have ignored it.

      IANAL but I am of the view that we have to be entirely certain about the reasons for possibly staying his extradition: is it because (a) he has AS; (b) because of a belief that he will harm himself if extradited, tried (and if found guilty) and punished in the US; (c) because any sentence imposed by the US Courts would be far harsher than one imposed by a UK Court for the same offence on the basis of the same evidence?

      I would not be happy to find that his extradition was stopped purely on the basis of (a) or (b) because on that basis someone accused of a similar offence but without the supposed mitigation of being on the Autistic Spectrum, or without an expressed or implied risk of self harm or suicide might find themselves extradited regardless of any discrepancy between US & UK sentencing policy.

      The Gary McKinnon case was now some time ago, and given that computer misuse is hardly likely to suddenly stop I am of the view that HMG really ought to come to a settled policy covering cases of this kind and make that policy publicly known; if the US doesn't like that policy then so be it. IMHO (and again IANAL) the UK should refuse to extradite for any offence if the sentence is likely to be greatly different to that in the UK, even if all the other qualifying reasons are present.

      At the same time it ought to be made abundantly clear that being on the Autistic Spectrum or threatening self harm will not be acceptable defences or pleas in mitigation in a UK Court. I wonder in cases like this if "the accused" would be willing to be found "unfit to plead" with all the implications of such a determination.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: UK law ought to apply, surely?

        @Commswonk: I agree, but you can't expect Love's lawyers *not* to throw everything they have into the pot, regardless of how good they think it is in general, if there's a chance it might tip the balance.

        Support of 141 British MPs? Yeah, that plus $5 will buy you a glass of beer.

        In all seriousness, I think his best hope here is to pay for someone to go up to Trump and say "You want to cut immigration? - well, here's one bad guy we don't need. PS: Getting him this far was a personal diplomatic triumph for Obama."

    2. Velv

      Re: UK law ought to apply, surely?

      It is an unfortunate fact about international borders and the easy with which they are crossed in cyberspace. It is not only ambiguous where the crime took place, the crime was committed in more than one place.

      Let's take a physical example to the extreme. If an american citizen standing on the Russian side of the Russia/China border shoots dead an Australian citizen standing on the Chinese side, in which country should the trial take place. Russia or China. Or the US, since it could be claimed the US citizen would receive unfair treatment in either Russia or China. Or Australia, as it was their citizen that was attacked.

      There is no right answer, and the lawyers are going to continue to make a fortune for decades to come.

  4. tedleaf

    Love is a spoilt brat,he has no more autism than 35% of the population.

    Mummy has a few "connections" and has worked them to death..

    Fingers crossed it goes to appeal,he loses and the tanks,pissed off by our allowing this lieing piece of rubbish to delay things get really annoyed and do hand him out a 99 year sentence,preferably on each and every offence..

    These white,middle class gits all claim autism or some other un-provable problem and expect to walk away with a slapped wrist they are lazy greedy little gits,they know precisely what they are doing and why..

    The old saying of "if you cannot do the time,don't do the crime" comes to mind,but all the time that they get a few months in a young offenders holiday camp then they reckon they can do the time,look at what that lieing piece of crap mudd has just been given..

    1. Slef

      You talk about his being middle class and white yet you are happy for him to be sent to a Country in which the legal system is totally dependant on how rich somebody is. Most court appearances are settled by plea bargaining because the public defenders are over run, yet if you have the resources to fund a trial and employ an expensive lawyer you will receive much better "justice".

      If you call our Young Offenders Institutions holiday camps I wonder how much experience you have of them?

      The offence was committed here and as such he should be subject to the British legal system

      1. tedleaf

        So what's the difference between UK and usa,money talks in both..

        Me,I'm a bit old to go th young offenders,but plenty of lads I know have been banged up in local youth nicks,when compared to approved schools/borstals,they are holiday camps,easy,if you keep yer head down,mouth shut and obey uniforms,anything else,expect crap,but that's always been true..

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Mummy has a few "connections" and has worked them to death..

      And you would have it otherwise? She's his mother! There are plenty of people who would welcome one tenth of such support, love and help from their family.

      1. MD Rackham

        Re: Mummy has a few "connections" and has worked them to death..

        The problem is not that Mummy cares enough to make the effort, but rather that her "connections" could actually make a difference.

        Justice should be blind to the presence of connections, or even the presence of a doting mother.

        It may not be the way the world actually works, but don't expect sympathy from me when it sometimes does.

      2. tedleaf

        Re: Mummy has a few "connections" and has worked them to death..

        Then mummy should have kept an eye on what her brat was up to..

        Let's find out if anyone in Russia was affected by the twats actions,then the tanks can send him there when they finish with him..

        Me,I would have lifetime assert seizure in place,weekly police station visits,tagged and on watch list for life,just to stop the other arrogant young bastards who think a bit of fame looks good on their cv when spying for jobs,it should be almost immpossible for gits like this to support themselves for the rest of their naturals,or a bit of natural justice,let his victims have him for a few hours..

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge


      I think you need a chip on both shoulders. That would allow you to have a balanced opinion.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Comments like yours do make me question the human race.

      I don't care if he really has autism, I don't care if his mummy is trying to help him. What I do care about is the way that justice is done.

      He committed the crime in the UK, he was arrested in the UK. Therefore he should be tried in the UK. What is happening back in reality is that the US don't think that our justice system will punish people enough as a deterrent to stop them hacking in America.

      Newsflash: So you can get UK citizens and punish them but I hate to break it to the USA, a Russian hacker is laughing his nuts off at you right now. (Disclaimer: All hackers are Russian/Iranian/North Korean as I read it on the internet)

      It's like living in a cul-de-sac, everyone gets along and tries to be nice neighbours but every so often someones dog gets out and shits on the driveway of a neighbour.

      The neighbour is rightly pissed off but would they demand the dog be taken to their house and put in a dog house? of course not because we are supposed to be a civilised society where sometimes dogs do shit where they shouldn't. The best solution is to put up a fence so the dogs can't defecate on the driveway in the first place.

    5. Alexander J. Martin

      > Love is a spoilt brat,he has no more autism than 35% of the population.

      I'd love it if you'd read the coverage before offering up your unqualified opinion. From here:

      > Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, stating that “there is absolutely no question that [Love] has Asperger's [Syndrome]” as well as severe depression and aggressive anxiety-related eczema, and was at a “very high” risk of committing suicide if imprisoned within the US system.

  5. Adam 52 Silver badge

    Those MPs

    Maybe they could do something useful, like change the extradition law. Or at least introduce some proper regulations instead of the rather undemocratic "queen in council" rule. Our PM is supposedly very keen on democracy isn't she?

    Like the Conservative party wanted to do whilst in opposition.

  6. Stuart 39

    I have ASD. I know the difference between right and wrong. Using his Aspergers/ASD as an excuse makes us all look like dicks. Send him there. Send him now. It's a cop out of the first order.

    If he didn't want to end up in a supermax he shouldn't have hacked the DoD etc.

  7. JaitcH

    This Wouldn't Happen In France: Thank You bLIAR & Blunkett

    The USA loves doing One-on-One trade deals where they throw in a wish list of completely unrelated things that have nothing to do with Trade.

    Thank you, bLIAR & Blunkett, for allowing the USA to gobble up British offspring.

    Crimes committed in the UK should be tried in the UK. The criminal law systems in the UK and the USA are from different planets. How many imprisoned lifers in the USA compared to the UK? How many people are serving life for stealing a pair of socks? (Three strikes out rule) Besides, the USA justice system is more akin to a Let's Make A Deal TV show. They don't want trials, they want deals,

    France wouldn't, DOESN'T, surrender it's own to another jurisdiction, so why does Britain?

    And the biggest, sickest, joke of all? The USA going around preaching about Human Rights.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hack some servers

    See the world!

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