Lauri Love: Alleged hacker loses legal fight over seized PCs

  • Published
Lauri Love outside court
Image caption,
Lauri Love outside court ahead of a previous hearing

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

Lauri Love, 34, was using the Police (Property) Act of 1897 to seek their return, a year after 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 Westminster Magistrates' Court, Mr Love was told no computer equipment would be returned to him.

District judge Margot Coleman earlier ruled that limited details of the case could be published.

Mr Love, who has Asperger's syndrome, is alleged to have stolen data from US 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 a data-storage card that were seized in 2013.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
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.

Following the judgement, Mr Love said: "Although the court has not in this instance exercised its discretion in my favour, I am thankful to have had a hearing and the opportunity to submit the issues in question to the consideration of the law."

Authorities in the US want Mr Love, who currently lives with his parents near Newmarket, to face cyber-hacking charges.

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".

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