MPs appeal to US President over Newmarket man's extradition for 'hacking' trial

PUBLISHED: 12:05 28 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:05 28 October 2016

Lauri Love (left), with father Rev Alexander Love outside Westminster Magistrates' Court, London. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

Lauri Love (left), with father Rev Alexander Love outside Westminster Magistrates' Court, London. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

More than 100 MPs are calling on Barack Obama to block the extradition of an autistic Newmarket man accused of hacking into US computers.

Lauri Love outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, at a previous hearing in May: Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA WireLauri Love outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, at a previous hearing in May: Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

The 105 cross-party backbenchers have signed a letter to the American leader, expressing “deep concern for the safety” of Lauri Love, 31, of Stradishall, near Newmarket.

They point out that he has “a long history of serious mental health issues, depression and some episodes of psychosis” and are hoping that Mr Obama will call a halt to the extradition before he leaves office next year.

US authorities have been fighting for Mr Love to face trial over charges of cyber-hacking, which his lawyers say could mean a sentence of up to 99 years in prison if he is found guilty.

He is alleged to have stolen huge amounts of data from US agencies including the Federal Reserve, the US Army, the Department of Defence, Nasa and the FBI, in a spate of online attacks in 2012 and 2013.

Lauri Love, who is accused of hacking into US Government computers, arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Photo Yui Mok/PA WireLauri Love, who is accused of hacking into US Government computers, arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

Mr Love, who also suffers from depression and severe eczema, has said a jail term in the US would cause his health to deteriorate and would lead to a mental breakdown or suicide.

Mr Love’s father, Rev Alexander Love, welcomed the support of the cross-party group.

He: “The judge accepted he had mental health issues, but still said there was a public interest to honour the extradition to the US.

“If he has done something wrong surely he should be tried here in this country.”

Mr Love was first arrested at his home and had computer equipment seized by British police, but the UK investigation into him was dropped.

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