Lauri Love, the British security researcher who is wanted by US courts on multiple hacking charges, has been granted permission by the UK High Court to appeal against his extradition.
In September last year, a judge at Westminster Magistrates Court ordered that Love be extradited to face charges in three US courts. His legal representatives had argued unsuccessfully that he should be tried in the UK due to his mental health and the likelihood that he would commit suicide.
The order was confirmed in November by the home secretary, at which point Love lodged a request with the High Court for leave to appeal the decision.
His advocates, organised around the Courage Foundation, have been gathering support, notably securing the signatures of nearly 120 MPs in a letter to former US President Barack Obama asking him to intervene in the extradition proceedings.
Under US sentencing guidelines, Love faces up to 99 years in a US federal prison if convicted by the three courts in which he faces charges. There is some leeway for a more lenient sentence but the prospective prison term would still be far in excess of the three years which he could expect if convicted in the UK.
Rights group Liberty has also been granted permission to intervene in the appeal. No hearing date has yet been set.
Through a statement from the Courage Foundation, Love commented: “I'm thankful the High Court have recognised the strength of our grounds for appeal and the great importance of the issues raised by the case.”
He added: "I'm thankful also for the ongoing support and campaigning by family and friends, amongst whom I now include the 114 MPs who signed a letter requesting jurisdiction be ceded to the UK. Now it is for the High Court to join us all in asserting the sovereignty, the values, the justice and humanity of law in the UK."
Love's solicitor, Karen Todner, said: "The reason permission has been granted is that the High Court acknowledge that the grounds raised some issues of great importance. We are delighted for this news for Lauri and will continue to do everything we can to ensure prevention of his extradition to the United States of America."