An extradition request for Lauri Love, 32, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was approved by a London court on Friday despite warnings that he might kill himself if sent to a U.S. jail.
Love will face trial for hacking high-security state computers of the U.S. including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. army, Missile Defense Agency and Federal Reserve. He faces a lifetime in prison in the U.S. if found guilty in the series of hacks that occurred in 2012 and 2013.
Authorities believed Mr. Love was connected to Anonymous, the international Guy Fawkes mask wearing group of hackers responsible for orchestrating hacks on U.S. institutions. His actions were said to have caused millions of dollars' worth of damage and that he had stolen employees' personal details.
Love, who suffers from episodes of depression and psychosis, had warned that he could take his own life if sent to a U.S. prison. Tor Ekeland, his U.S. based lawyer, said the U.S. penal system would have an irreparable effect on him that can be life threatening.
"They want to destroy him because they want to use him as an example," Ekeland told Reuters.
Mr. Love's lawyers are expected to file an appeal to the Home Secretary of the Interior Minister in the United Kingdom as he is the only one that can ratify the London judge's decision.
They have also argued that he should be tried in Britain pointing to new rules that make it easier for British courts to try people for crimes committed in the country. Such rules were introduced in 2012 after the extradition of Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon to the U.S. was blocked by then Home Secretary Theresa May, who is now Prime Minister.
McKinnon, who also had Asperger's, had hacked into U.S. state computers for what he believed to be a "moral crusade" to find classified documents about UFOs. Ms. Theresa May said he was seriously ill and extradition would violate his human rights therefor the ruling was overturned.