Ruling scheduled for 16 September 2016; Property Act hearing postponed; Lauri Love appears at HOPE conference via videolink
Lauri Love’s extradition hearing, which began last month with two days of testimony, concluded Monday 25 July with final arguments. Lauri’s attorney, Ben Cooper, reviewed what the court has heard to argue that Lauri would face terrible treatment and a likely high prison sentence in the United States, which would exacerbate his mental and physical health problems, particularly as it would send him far from his support network in the UK. Cooper argued that this case, with computer evidence, is very portable, making it easy to try in the UK.
Prosecutor Peter Caldwell continued to minimise Lauri’s mental health issues, calling him “fit to plead”, deeming him on the “mild” end of the Autism spectrum, and suggesting he should simply take anti-depressants. He also downplayed concerns deriving from multiple jurisdictions issuing extradition requests. According to Nicole Powers, tweeting from the courtroom, Caldwell said “although extradition has been requested by 3 jurisdictions, it’s intended proceedings would take place in “one state”” — if true, this would be news to Courage. Lauri’s US attorney, Tor Ekeland, responded on Twitter: “They are counting on Lauri to waive his constitutional venue rights in order to consolidate the trials. not sure Lauri would want to waive his venue challenges. they cannot supersede these indictments under treaty.” Cooper, meanwhile, emphasised the prosecution’s lack of evidence.
Judge Nina Tempia scheduled her ruling on Lauri’s extradition for 16 September. Additionally, the next hearing in Lauri Love’s civil suit against the NCA will be rescheduled.
After court adjourned, Lauri spoke to supporters outside the courtroom, hoping for an “outbreak of common sense”:
Over the weekend, Courage participated in the 11th HOPE conference in New York City. Courage’s Naomi Colvin appeared on a panel with Carey Shenkman and Jesselyn Radack on ‘Leak Hypocrisy,’ and Colvin and Courage’s Nathan Fuller and Grace North were on a panel with Shenkman, Yan Zhu, and Lauri Love via videolink, reviewing Courage’s recent successes and some of the lessons we’ve learned in our two years as an organisation.
Zhu read a statement, titled ‘Endless Lemons,’ sent to her from Chelsea Manning, addressing the HOPE audience at large.
Speaking via video feed, Lauri discussed his case and its wider implications, explaining why it was important not only for him to fight extradition, but for all of those concerned with the US-UK treaty, the US justice system and mental health issues.
Video of both panels should soon be available here.