In August, a 19-year-old named Harry Dunn lost his life in a tragic accident.
An image of a banner near the RAF Croughton airbase in Northamptonshire, England is seen on October 15, 2019 in this file photo… Read More
The British government has formally asked for Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat, to be extradited to face charges in connection to the death of a British teen.
Friday, a spokesperson for the Home Office, the government organization responsible for law enforcement and internal matters, revealed their request and stated that the decision is now in the hands of U.S. authorities. This action appears to have further complicated the strained relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States about the incident.
The U.S. State Department labelled the extradition request as “highly inappropriate” and stated that it would set up a “very alarming precedent.”
An individual who holds U.S. citizenship, aged 42, is suspected to have been behind the wheel of a car that smashed into 19-year-old Harry Dunn’s motorcycle in Croughton, England on the evening of August 27th, 2019.
At a demonstration during President Donald Trump’s visit for the NATO summit in London on December 3, 2019, Charlotte Charles, the mother of Harry Dunn, was seen in front of a banner outside the Buckingham Palace.
Northamptonshire Police stated that Dunn was rushed to a medical facility in Oxford after being struck by a car that was travelling in the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road. Sadly, he passed away soon after.
Following the accident, Sacoolas went back to the United States and asserted diplomatic immunity, leading to a dispute between the two countries. In December 2019, legal proceedings were initiated against her for causing death by dangerous driving.
Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a declaration maintaining their position that Sacoolas was protected by immunity when the incident occurred.
A spokesperson from the State Department stated that the US has a notable law enforcement connection with the UK, especially when it comes to extraditing individuals. Nevertheless, they strongly believe that making an extradition request in this certain situation is not suitable.
A memorial of flowers was placed along the B4031 by RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, England, on October 10th, 2019 in remembrance of Harry Dunn, a British motorcyclist who tragically lost his life at that location on August 27th.
Amy Jeffress, a lawyer for Sacoolas, stated in a declaration that the American government “has made it known that they will not allow for any extradition request to be granted and will maintain the long-standing understanding of diplomatic immunity between the two nations.”
Jeffress expressed that Sacoolas is still deeply sorrowful for the loss of the Dunn family and would do all she could to bring their son, Harry, back. Following the incident, Sacoolas penned a letter of remorse to the Dunns.
The statement noted that they are still looking to collaborate with the British authorities to find a viable solution.
Law enforcement from the U.K. visited the U.S. in October to talk with Sacoolas, and President Trump commented on the situation, characterizing it as an unfortunate accident surrounded by a complicated matter since Sacoolas asserted diplomatic immunity.
On October 15, 2019, a banner was visible near RAF Croughton airbase in Northamptonshire, England, where Harry Dunn was fatally hit by an automobile while riding his motorbike from his home.
In a review conducted by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, it was determined that there is an “anomaly” in the current agreements between the British and American governments, where family members of US officers at the Annex at RAF Croughton have more protection from British criminal jurisdiction than the officials themselves.
The incident happened in the vicinity of Royal Air Force Croughton, generally known as RAF Croughton, which is a British military base that has a US Air Force intelligence center. The husband of Sacoolas is a diplomat from the United States appointed to work in the United Kingdom.
Radd Seiger, an attorney representing the Dunn family, issued a statement in which they expressed that the extradition request was “a huge step towards justice for Harry.”
The statement went on to say that, although this won’t bring Harry back, the family is content with the outcome, considering all they have been through.
Seiger pointed out that even though the US government is making unhelpful statements about Anne Sacoolas not being extradited, the Dunns are focusing on the upcoming legal proceedings.
Trump administration accused by the UK of a ‘denial of justice’ after refusing to extradite a diplomat’s wife accused of killing a British teenager
The US has refused the UK’s request to extradite the wife of an American diplomat who was involved in a fatal crash that took the life of a British teen last year. This decision has been labelled “a denial of justice” by the Home Office.
Harry Dunn, a 19-year-old, tragically passed away outside a US military base in Northamptonshire, England, in August 2019. British prosecutors sought the extradition of Anne Sacoolas, 42, after she was charged with causing Dunn’s death due to dangerous driving in December. It has been reported that she was driving on the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred.
The Home Office said: “We are disappointed in this decision, which appears to be a denial of justice. We are urgently considering our options.”
Radd Seiger, a spokesman for the Dunn family, accused the Trump administration of taking a “wrecking ball” to the alliance between the two countries.
“This administration is heaving lawlessly and taking a wrecking ball to one of the greatest alliances in the word. This is a lawless, corrupt administration that appears intent on attacking even its closest international ally.”
In a statement rejecting the UK’s extradition request, the US state department said Sacoolas had enjoyed diplomatic immunity during her stay in the UK, meaning she should not face charges.
“If the United States were to grant the UK’s extradition request, it would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent,” it said.
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