British 'hacker' due to learn of extradition decision

An autistic man accused of hacking into US Government computers is due to find out whether he will be extradited from Britain to stand trial.

Lauri Love, who has Asperger Syndrome, is alleged to have stolen huge amounts of data from US agencies including the Federal Reserve, the Department of Defence, Nasa and the FBI in a spate of online attacks in 2012 and 2013.

American authorities have been fighting for the 31-year-old, who lives with his parents near Newmarket in Suffolk, to face trial over charges of cyber-hacking, which his lawyers say could mean a sentence of up to 99 years in prison if found guilty.

Mr Love has said he holds little hope of justice if he is extradited, and suggested a jail term in the US could cause his health to deteriorate and would lead to a mental breakdown or suicide.

He and his family want him to face justice in the UK rather than the US, which he said "coerces" people into pleading guilty to get reduced sentences.

His case was heard at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court in June and on Friday a judge will decide whether he should be extradited to face the possibility of three separate trials in different jurisdictions.

The case will be the first substantive test of the "forum bar", which was introduced by former home secretary Theresa May to allow courts to block extradition if it is in the interests of justice to have a person tried in Britain instead.

A judge will hand down the ruling at Westminster Magistrates' Court at 2pm on Friday, and also set a date for Mr Love's case against the National Crime Agency over its retention of computer equipment it seized from him.

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