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US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch

UK High Court refuses to certify point-of-law appeal

The US government has had its final shot at arguing for the extradition of accused hacker Lauri Love snuffed out by the High Court in London, England.

The court this morning refused to certify an appeal on a point of law raised by the Crown Prosecution Service, which acted on behalf of US authorities, following its quashing of the US extradition attempt in February this year.

The US wanted to extradite Love because prosecutors in three states alleged that he was involved in hacking a telephone-directory list of American government agencies, including the FBI and the US Army. Love has maintained that he faced a maximum possible prison sentence of 99 years.

Earlier this year the High Court overruled Westminster magistrates' court, which approved Love's extradition, after hearing about conditions in the prisons where Love was likely to be incarcerated, as well as the severe suicide risk that his incarceration posed.

"The forum bar has now met its first successful test case. US detention and healthcare provision have been rightly shown to be unjust and oppressive. The era of the US Department of Justice as world police is over," said Love himself in a statement issued by the Courage Foundation, which has been supporting him during the legal proceedings.

Foundation acting director Naomi Colvin added: "There is now very little prospect of any British hacker ever finding themselves in the same position as Lauri Love or Gary McKinnon. Fifteen years of terrible public policy in which British hackers were left open to the vindictive instincts of US prosecutors has now been brought to an end."

She added: "In their ruling last month, the Lord Chief Justice Burnett of Maldon, and Mr Justice Ouseley held that prosecution of Lauri Love in the United Kingdom would not be oppressive. We will cross that bridge when we come to it." ®

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