Harry Dunn Death: Anne Sacoolas Extradition Request Denied By US

The 19-year-old was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire in August last year.
Harry Dunn
Harry Dunn

The US secretary of state has rejected an extradition request for the suspect charged in connection with the death of British teenager Harry Dunn.

The 19-year-old’s parents were informed of Mike Pompeo’s decision in a phone call with their constituency MP Andrea Leadsom on Thursday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Home Office said: “We are disappointed in this decision, which appears to be a denial of justice.

“We are urgently considering our options.”

Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

His family have said they are “not surprised” by the rejection, but added that it will “not be a battle the US government is going to win”.

Sacoolas, 42, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

The Home Office submitted an extradition request for her, which the US described as highly inappropriate.

Boris Johnson had previously said the chances of the suspect ever returning to the UK were very low.

Dunn’s family said “the fight goes on” for justice for their son. The family spokesman Radd Seiger told BBC Radio 5 that he understood no reason had been given for Washington’s decision.

“The reality is they can’t give a reason because there is no good reason,” Seiger said.

“It’s simply an unlawful act, and we knew it was coming. We’ll simply take it in our stride. Everybody’s relaxed, we knew this day was coming.”

Asked if the prime minister was doing enough, family spokesman Radd Seiger told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I have to say at the moment not.

“Boris Johnson wanted to be prime minister, he is now being tested severely. I expect him today to rise to that challenge and come and meet with me and the family and tell us what he’s going to do about it.”

Buisness Secretary Andrea Leadsom, the constituency MP for Dunn’s family, has said the suspect charged with causing the teenager’s death “should come back to the UK”.

In a tweet, Leadsom said: “I am deeply sorry that extradition has been refused.

“This was a tragic road accident where a much loved young man died.

“His family are heartbroken. The person who has been charged by the CPS should come back to the UK #Justiceforharry”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “I called the US Ambassador earlier to express the Government’s disappointment about this decision. We feel this amounts to a denial of justice, and we believe Anne Sacoolas should return to the UK. We are now urgently considering our options. I also explained that the UK would have acted differently if this had been a UK diplomat serving in the US.
“I emphasised that work to improve road safety on and around the Croughton base must continue, and the need to resolve the issue whereby family members at RAF Croughton are immune from criminal prosecution.”

Reacting to Raab’s comments, the teenager’s family told the PA news agency: “We are obviously grateful for any intervention that the Foreign Office (FCO) is making on our behalf. However, the fact remains that the FCO are still defending the judicial review proceedings.

“It remains our position that intelligence officers at RAF Croughton have diplomatic immunity and that if we dare challenge that in court they will seek to effectively make us bankrupt if we lose the case by forcing us to pay legal costs.

“That amounts to a huge arm around the US Government’s position that their (the US) personnel are free to come to the UK, kill UK citizens or shed their blood, and then get on the next plane back home.

“How they have the front to maintain that position after last night’s decision is a complete mystery to us and should trouble everyone on this side of the pond.

“As things stand, it matters more to the FCO that the status quo be maintained and protected than the lives of their own people and their families’ ability to seek justice in the event of the worst happening.

“If we have that wrong, they are more than welcome to make that concession now or meet with us to explain why they will not do so.”

Earlier, in a short statement Seiger said: “If Trump and Pompeo think this is an end to the matter, they have another think coming to them. Team Harry will sit down with the government tomorrow and work out our next steps.

“And next steps there will be. The whole world is on Team Harry’s side. This is not a battle the US government is going to win.”

In a statement released on behalf of the suspect after she was charged in December, Sacoolas’s lawyers said: “Anne will not return voluntarily to the United Kingdom to face a potential jail sentence for what was a terrible but unintentional accident.”


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