January 11, 2020
The US has criticised the UK’s request to extradite Anne Sacoolas – the American charged with causing teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn’s death by dangerous driving – as “highly inappropriate”.
Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas Extradition Request Highly Inappropriate Says US
The Home Office said it submitted the request to the US State Department for the 42-year-old wife of an American intelligence official on Friday, after she was charged with causing the 19-year-old’s death by dangerous driving in December.
Dunn, 19, died after his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity after the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking international controversy.
The Home Office has said the matter is now “a decision for the US authorities” after formally submitting the extradition request on Friday.
But the US Department for State has said it has always been their position that Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity, stating that a request to extradite somebody with immunity would be an abuse.
A spokesman said: “It is the position of the United States government that a request to extradite an individual under these circumstances would be an abuse.
“The use of an extradition treaty to attempt to return the spouse of a former diplomat by force would establish an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”
The spokesman added that they will continue to engage with the UK government and said they have been transparent on all matters, both legal and diplomatic.
After a meeting with foreign secretary Dominic Raab and home secretary Priti Patel, Dunn’s family pressed repeatedly for a meeting with the prime minister.
A letter seen by the PA news agency on Friday showed that the family’s local MP, business secretary Andrea Leadsom, had written to Boris Johnson to request a face-to-face meeting.
In the letter, Leadsom urges the Johnson to “hear at first hand what they have been through”, adding that a meeting would “go a long way to assure them that the case and their concerns are being taken seriously”.
The family have said they said they are “pleased” with the extradition request, adding that they feel it is a “huge step towards achieving justice for Harry”.
Confirming the request, a spokesman for the Home Office said: “Following the Crown Prosecution Service’s charging decision, the Home Office has sent an extradition request to the United States for Anne Sacoolas on charges of causing death by dangerous driving.
“This is now a decision for the US authorities.”
The family have initiated various legal proceedings against the Foreign Office, the US government and Sacoolas herself after their lawyers disputed the granting of diplomatic immunity.
Reacting to the extradition request on behalf of Dunn’s family, spokesman Radd Seiger told PA: “I have learned that the extradition request for Anne Sacoolas has been delivered today to the United States Department of Justice in accordance with the requirements laid out in the treaty between the two countries and I have notified the parents.
“This will not of course bring Harry back, but in the circumstances of all that this family have been through, they are pleased with the development and feel that it is a huge step towards achieving justice for Harry and making good on the promise that they made to him on the night he died that they would secure justice for him.
“Despite the unwelcome public comments currently emanating from the US administration that Anne Sacoolas will never be returned, Harry’s parents, as victims, will simply look forward to the legal process unfolding, as it must now do, confident in the knowledge that the rule of law will be upheld.
“They will simply take things one step at a time and not get ahead of themselves.
“However, no one, whether diplomat or otherwise, is above the law.”Related... Harry Dunn Case: Home Office Formally Requests Extradition Of Anne Sacoolas Harry Dunn's Family Criticise Anne Sacoolas' Lawyer For Claiming She 'Co-Operated Fully' With Police Despite Leaving The UK Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas Charged Over Death After Leaving UK Under Diplomatic Immunity
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