Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

Lauri Love: Alleged hacker begins legal battle over seized computers

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Lauri Love outside court
Lauri Love outside Hendon Magistrates’ Court ahead of the hearing

An alleged hacker whose computers were seized more than five years ago has begun a legal bid to get them back.

Lauri Love, 34, is using the Police (Property) Act of 1897 to seek their return, a year after top judges blocked his extradition to the United States.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said a UK investigation into Mr Love, from Suffolk, was ongoing.

At Hendon Magistrates’ Court, district judge Margot Coleman ruled that limited details of the case could be published.

Mr Love, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is alleged to have stolen data from American agencies including Nasa and the FBI in a spate of online attacks in 2012 and 2013.

The court heard he wanted the NCA to return four computers and an SD card that were seized in 2013.

Mr Love was first arrested in October 2013

In a skeleton argument presented to the court, Mr Love said the Police and Criminal Evidence Act highlights “the right to privacy and respect for private property”.

He also claimed the NCA had “failed to respect” his rights by seizing his equipment.

Authorities in America want Mr Love, who currently lives with his parents near Newmarket, Suffolk, to face cyber-hacking charges in the US, which could result in up to 99 years in prison if he is found guilty.

But in February 2018, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Mr Justice Ouseley blocked his extradition, claiming it would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition”.

The district judge said she would deliver her ruling at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 19 February.


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