- Lauri Love, 31, accused of breaking into FBI, US Federal Reserve and other networks while sitting at his computer in UK
- His legal team say his case is ‘almost identical’ to that of Mr McKinnon
- Love faces possible 99-year jail term if convicted in America
- McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp: Love won’t survive in US justice system
Asperger’s sufferer Lauri Love (pictured), 31, is accused of breaking into the FBI, the US Federal Reserve and other networks and stealing personal data while sitting at his computer in the UK
Gary McKinnon’s mother has warned that an alleged hacker facing the same charges as her son will not survive if he is extradited to the US.
Asperger’s sufferer Lauri Love, 31, is accused of breaking into the FBI, the US Federal Reserve and other networks and stealing personal data while sitting at his computer in the UK.
His legal team say his case is ‘almost identical’ to that of Mr McKinnon, whose extradition was blocked by then home secretary Theresa May following a Daily Mail campaign.
A judge will rule today whether or not Mr Love can be extradited to the US, where he faces a possible 99-year jail term if convicted. But Mr McKinnon’s mother Janis Sharp warned that Mr Love would not survive in the US justice system. ‘He has Asperger’s, is nervous, scared and suicidal and is in a really bad way,’ she said.
‘I am worried he will be extradited and end up in an American prison … I worry that he won’t survive as American jails are terrible places. I just hope that Gary didn’t go through all of this for nothing.’
A judge will rule today whether or not Mr Love can be extradited to the US, where he faces a possible 99-year jail term if convicted. But Janis Sharp, the mother of Gary McKinnon (pictured together), warned that Mr Love would not survive in the US justice system
She added of Mr Love, who has been deemed a high suicide risk by medical experts: ‘He’s very intelligent but also naive, innocent and vulnerable. You’re putting someone gentle, who shies away from human contact, in a system with convicted criminals. He is terrified at the prospect of going to America.’
Mr Love, who is studying electrical engineering at Suffolk University, has spent the past three years in legal limbo.
The prison chaplain’s son from Newmarket, Suffolk, said he was ‘apprehensive but optimistic’.
‘I’ve been having weird dreams and trouble getting to sleep … I feel more for my parents,’ he told the Mail. ‘They’re at an age when they should have a quieter life.’ He added: ‘US prisons are not good for people with mental health problems.
‘If I am sent to an American jail, I don’t see anything positive happening after that.’
He said he hoped the precedent set by Mr McKinnon’s case in 2012 would encourage the judge to rule in his favour.
Mr McKinnon, who broke into Nasa and Pentagon systems faced similar charges. But Mrs May blocked his extradition because of the ‘high risk of him ending his life’.
The Rev Alexander Love, 63, said he often feared he would find his son dead.
Ben Cooper, Mr Love’s barrister has described him as ‘highly vulnerable’ and said extradition would be ‘unjust’.
Mr Love faces 12 counts of hacking between October 2012 and October 2013 across New York, New Jersey and Virginia.