Harry Dunn: Dominic Raab calls for US diplomat’s wife to return to UK if she is charged

The foreign secretary has called for an American woman accused of killing a British teenager [1]in a car crash to return to the UK if she is charged.

Anne Sacoolas[2], the wife of a US intelligence officer, fled back to her home country after claiming intelligence immunity following the crash in August. She is believed to have been driving on the wrong side of the road when her car collided with 19-year-old Harry Dunn as he rode his motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire[3].

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[4]

The teenager’s family launched legal action accusing the Foreign Office of unlawfully advising local police that Ms Sacoolas was protected by diplomatic immunity. Their relationship with Dominic Raab [5]worsened after the government said it would seek legal costs over the claim[6], and they travelled to his constituency calling for him to be voted out in the election.

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rightCreated with Sketch.


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A surfer gets into the festive spirit at the inland surfing lagoon at The Wave, near Bristol

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Snowy conditions near Deepdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park as snow hits parts of the UK

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Oisin Carson, 5, picks a Christmas tree at Wicklow Way Christmas tree farm in Roundwood

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4/50 14 December 2019

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, takes a selfie as she joins the SNPs newly elected MPs for a group photo outside the V&A Museum in Dundee, Scotland

Getty Images

5/50 13 December 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arrive back at Downing Street after the results for the general election were announced. The Conservative Party won with an overall majority

EPA

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A dog outside a polling station during the general election in Northumberland

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Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson stands between a Stop Brexit sign as she attends a general election campaign event at Esher Rugby Club, south west London.

Britain will go to the polls tomorrow to vote

AFP via Getty

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A surfer off the North East coast at Tynemouth

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9/50 9 December 2019

Leah Rossiter (left) and Ceara Carney, dressed as mermaids, join members of the Irish Wildlife Trust and Extinction Rebellion Ireland protesting outside Leinster House in Dublin, against overfishing in Irish Waters

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10/50 8 December 2019

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn poses for selfies with supporters at a general election rally in Colwyn Bay, north Wales

AFP via Getty

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Speedo Mick outside the stadium before the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park

Action Images via Reuters

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A climate activist wearing a mask and holding a placard reading ‘Fossil fuel era is over’ outside Millbank Studios in London

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with the SNP campaign bus in front of the Queensferry Crossing, while on the General Election campaign trail in Scotland

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The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, which is given every year by the city of Oslo as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the Second World War

PA

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PA

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School children and students take part in the Youth Strike for Climate in London as part of the Fridays for Future Global Climate Strike

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Andrew Fusek Peters / SWNS

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24/50 24 November 2019

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Rex Features

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wears a pair of mittens that say ‘Pick Pam’, referring to Labour MP Pam Duncan-Glancy (not pictured) as he visits the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre in Glasgow

Getty

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Snow falling in Glyn Ceiriog near Llangollen in Denbighshire

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Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson speaking at the launch of their general election campaign at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London

PA

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Pelicans in St James’s Park in central London

AFP/Getty

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Dancers perform a mass Ghoomar dance during Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London

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Campaigners listen as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon addresses a rally calling for Scottish independence in Glasgow

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Police and recovery workers remove a damaged bus from the scene of a crash in Sevenoaks Road, south-east London. A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a person died and 15 others were injured

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as launches the party’s election campaign in south London.

Britain will go to the polls on December 12

AFP via Getty

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon joins Alyn Smith, the SNP’s candidate for Stirling, at the Made in Stirling Store and Creative Hub, during the general election campaign trail

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50/50 29 October 2019

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But after a new meeting with Harry’s father on Tuesday, the re-elected foreign secretary said they were “united in determination to get justice”.

“I appeal to Anne Sacoolas herself to do the right thing,” Mr Raab said. “If there is a charging decision from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) I urge her to come back to the United Kingdom and cooperate with the criminal justice process.”

Police handed a file of evidence to the CPS in November after interviewing Ms Sacoolas in the US, but prosecutors have not yet reached a decision on whether to charge her.

Watch more

Mr Raab said the government would do “everything it can” to aid the case, while reviewing diplomatic immunity arrangements for US personnel and their families at RAF Croughton “to ensure they cannot be used in this way again”. A 1995 agreement means they are accepted as part of the US embassy in London and entitled protection under the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.

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Boris Johnson had spoken to Donald Trump about the case “and made clear that what has happened is not acceptable”, but the US president later said driving on the wrong side of the road “can happen”, adding: “It was an accident.”

Harry’s father, Tim Dunn, said the conversation with Mr Raab more “open” and “friendly” than a previous meeting held in October. A spokesman for the family, Radd Seiger, said: “One of the things that came across loud and clear for us which hadn’t come across before is that both Andrea Leadsom [the MP for Northamptonshire South] and Mr Raab would like this lady to come back too, and that’s not something that we had heard.”

Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles was not present after being left “utterly devastated” by watching footage of Ms Sacoolas reversing out of her driveway [7]in the state of Virginia.

Diplomatic immunity review launched after Harry Dunn case

Earlier on Tuesday, Harry’s family sat down with Northamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley for talks after the family originally called for his resignation.

It was revealed that Mr Adderley sent a written apology to the family for a “breakdown” in communications.

He promised the 19-year-old’s parents that he will work “tirelessly” to bring the US suspect back to the UK.

Read more

“The pain this family feel over the loss of 19-year-old Harry cannot be put into words and this pain continues to be compounded by the fact that the suspect in this case remains in the US,” Mr Adderley said.

“We will continue doing all we can to work alongside the CPS in getting justice for Harry and I am pleased to be able to do this alongside the family.”

Mr Dunn urged the CPS to reach a decision on whether to charge Ms Sacoolas to help give his family “closure” as they continue to grieve.

He added: “These two meetings today have given us hope and I just plead now for the CPS to please hurry up and make this charge, and then we can move on.”

Additional reporting by PA

References

  1. ^ killing a British teenager (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Anne Sacoolas (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Northamptonshire (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ Download now (independent.onelink.me)
  5. ^ Dominic Raab (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ seek legal costs over the claim (www.independent.co.uk)
  7. ^ Ms Sacoolas reversing out of her driveway (www.independent.co.uk)

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