THe Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has joined more than 100 MPs in urging President Barack Obama not to extradite the Asperger’s sufferer and suspected hacker Lauri Love.
Described as a “delicate” and “wonderful young man” by the Labour MP, Mr Love is facing a 99-year prison sentence in the US for allegedly stealing large amounts of data from a number of US agencies, including the Army, Nasa and the FBI.
However, owing to a history of serious mental health issues and severe eczema, campaigners are calling for the 32-year-old to stand trial in Britain to minimise the risk of self-harm.
Mr Sheerman, who is one of eight Yorkshire MPs to sign the joint letter to the US President, told The Yorkshire Post he believed Mr Love would be in “real trouble” if extradited. “Lauri is a special case... his mental and physical challenges make him a very delicate flower,” he said.
“The prediction from the medical experts is that if he was taken to the US for trial, he would probably self-harm to an extreme level.
“I know people can be glib about it, but these people’s knowledge and talent ought to be used for improving our security systems.
“What we are faced with is an extradition [and] the threat of a 99-year sentence.”
Mr Love has been engaged in a three-year legal battle against extradition attempts, but last month a judge agreed that he should be extradited.
However, Mr Sheerman hopes that President Obama can be persuaded to use powers of dispensation to withdraw the expedition warrant.
“We’re not putting all our eggs in one basket... we are spreading the campaign across all US senators and congressmen,” he added.
“I’m very optimistic, but I want everyone who knows about the case and has passion left in them to get on social media and contact anyone they think has influence in the US to raise the profile.”