I hope Theresa May and the Lord Chief Justice have the courage and the will to stop Lauri’s extradition.
We are not trying to avoid a trial, but if Lauri has done anything wrong then he should be able to face justice in Britain.
Theresa May intervened to stop Gary McKinnon being extradited after he was accused of hacking American computer systems from Britain.
I can’t see any difference between Gary McKinnon’s case and Lauri’s case. They both have Asperger’s, they were both at risk of suicide and extradition is clearly against their human rights.
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Theresa May changed the law by introducing a forum bar so that people could be tried in the UK, but so far it has been shown not to work.
If it does not work now, will she have the courage to do the right thing and stop the extradition?
I don’t like to think about it, but I believe Lauri when he says he will kill himself if he is sent to America. He is quite serious about that.
Lauri is very skilled with computers. Those skills could be put to better use, and that is what he wants to do – he seems very keen on using his skills for the good.
He helped by coordinating efforts to stop Wannacry attacks that hit the health service, which was a very big thing. He was helping to coordinate the volunteers to get people working to analyse the code.
He has started a social collective, called Bogaty Hack, to work with other experts to improve security, and he could do a lot more if he was given the opportunity.
With all the troubles Lauri had at university, he thought he was not good for society, but now he knows that he is good. It would be such a waste to let all that go and put him in a US prison for life.
It does make me wonder why he has been treated differently – the US were happy to let previous hacking cases be tried in the UK.
Political aspect to Lauri’s trial
I don’t know if there is a political aspect to it. Lauri is quite outspoken about his distaste for the America government, and the whole protest movement he is alleged to have been involved in is quite political.
Lauri has always been really intelligent. When we were growing up, he figured things out really quickly. He just knew how things worked. We had an MSX home computer and he figured how to write little programs on it, and taught me how to do it, and we would write our own computer games.
He can be quite idiotic in some ways, not having the sort of common sense that people normally have. I suppose it has something to do with Asperger’s.
If something is logical for him, and is the right way of doing things, he does not think about how other people would view it.
He knows that he is smart and he does not see that point of hiding that. He is not so patient with people if they don’t see things his way or don’t understand him. That can make him quite annoying, but once you get past that, he is a good person and very ethical.
“I was completely shocked when the judge said he should be extradited. Everyone in the public gallery was aghast. It was so unexpected.”
I came to England from Finland to hear the verdict of the first trial, and I was completely shocked when the judge said he should be extradited. Everyone in the public gallery was aghast. It was so unexpected.
Lauri could not really comprehend the verdict went the way it did, because all the evidence was there and it was ignored. It wasn’t logical for him.
His usual way of dealing with things is to make jokes and ignore how serious the situation is.
He absolutely would not be able to cope with the conditions in US prisons. He would not cope at all, with his Asperger’s and his eczema, which is really bad.
When he gets stressed, his eczema gets a lot worse; he would be at risk from antibiotic-resistant skin infections. It’s not easy in a prison cell to keep everything clean.
The way they treat people who are a suicide risk in the US is not going to improve his condition. It’s not going to help his mental state. When he gets stressed, it all comes out in physical symptoms, so he will be ill all the time.
Lauri should be facing trial in this country, where he has always lived, and where he is alleged to have been involved in hacking. His only chance of a fair trial will be before a jury of his peers.
It would be a waste of his skills if Lauri were extradited.
Lauri Love’s appeal against extradition to the United States is due to be heard on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 November at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Read more about Lauri Love
- In this exclusive documentary by Computer Weekly and Insofar Media, Love tells the story of how his interest in computers developed from a young age and how his growing interest in politics at university later led him to online activism.
- Backbench MPs are campaigning against Lauri Love’s extradition to the US so he can face trial in the UK.
- Finnish documentary makers Raimo Uunila and Lauri Danska tell the behind-the-scenes story of activist Lauri Love’s battle with the US government – and the impact of the case on his family.