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Ireland orders extradition of alleged Silk Road website administrator

Bitcoin (virtual currency used on Silk Road) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris July 11, 2014

An Irish court on Friday ordered the extradition of a 27-year-old Irish man the United States claims was an administrator for the Silk Road, a web site used to anonymously buy and sell drugs and other illicit items.

The Irish High Court ordered that Gary Davis be surrendered to US authorities, who say they believe he was an administrator on the site from June to October 2013. A lawyer for Davis said he planned to appeal the decision.

The Silk Road, which used the digital currency bitcoin for payment, was closed down in 2013, but it has been replaced by copycat sites.

The US authorities have accused Davis of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He might face life in prison if is found guilty of the narcotics charge.

Davis was not obliged to make a plea as part of the extradition hearing.

Justice Paul McDermott rejected arguments by Davis’s lawyers that he was a vulnerable person who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and was a suicide risk as reasons to reject the extradition request.

“The court is satisfied that the United States authorities will act to protect his mental and physical health,” McDermott said. “The court is satisfied the respondent should be surrendered.”

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