Monday, January 24, 2022

US diplomat’s wife to face UK court over teenager’s death

Harry Dunn died in August 2019 when his motorbike collided with a car driving on the wrong side of the road near a US air base in southern England.

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A US diplomat’s wife is to face criminal proceedings in Britain, charged with causing the death by dangerous driving of a teenager, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Monday.

Harry Dunn, 19, died in August 2019 when his motorbike collided with a car driving on the wrong side of the road near a US air base in southern England.

Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US technical assistant at the base, left the country shortly afterwards and claimed diplomatic immunity.

The case will be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Jan 18, a spokesperson for the CPS, which brings prosecutions in England and Wales, told AFP.

“While the challenges and complexity of this case are well known, we remain committed to securing justice in this matter.”

British media said Sacoolas is expected to appear via video-link from the US but the CPS declined to comment.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: “Welcome news that Anne Sacoolas will face a UK court. We continue to support the family to get justice for Harry Dunn.”

The issue over whether Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity or should be extradited and put on trial has dogged Britain’s relations with the US since the fatal crash.

Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles said she and the family were “very emotional and overwhelmed” at the development.

“It is all that we asked for following Harry’s death,” she said.

In June, Britain’s foreign secretary at the time, Dominic Raab, said the US would not object to a remote trial.

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