What does the end to diplomatic immunity mean for Dunn’s case and will Anne Sacoolas return to the U.K.? Jasmine Razeghi reports.
Today, foreign secretary Dominic Raab announced that the U.K. and U.S. agreed to end immunity for relatives of U.S. staff at the air base. Family members may now face criminal prosecution.
The decision stems from a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during Pompeo’s trip to the United Kingdom.
On August 27, 2019, Harry Dunn rode his motorcycle in Northamptonshire and a car, driven by Anne Sacoolas, crashed into and killed him. As the wife of a U.S. intelligence official, Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and returned to the United States. She since refused to return to the United Kingdom.
In a statement released by the foreign secretary, Raab stated, “the U.S. waiver of immunity from criminal jurisdiction is now expressly extended to the family members of U.S. staff at the Croughton Annex.”
Raab went on to recognize how troubled the Dunn family must feel. "We have the deepest sympathy for Harry Dunn's family. No family should have to experience what they have gone through and I recognise that these changes will not bring Harry back,” he said.
To Charlotte Charles, Harry’s mother, the end of Sacoolas’ immunity was a step in the right direction and would ensure that a tragedy like this will not repeat itself.
Ms. Charles added that Harry would be proud and that she will continue to fight for Sacoolas’ return to the United Kingdom. "We always live with hope that one day she might just decide of her own accord to put herself on a plane and come back over here,” she noted.
Harry’s father, Tim Dunn, had concerns about the lateness of the decision. "This is great news... but if it's right for now, why was it not right 11 months ago? This has been changed because it was wrong - so if it was wrong, why can't they admit it was wrong and send her back?” he questioned.
The United States refused to extradite Sacoolas, leaving Dunn’s family in a fight to bring her back to the United Kingdom. In May, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State claimed that the decision to not extradite Sacoolas was final.
Sacoolas’ lawyer previously stated that her voluntary return to the U.K. is unlikely with the potential to face a jail sentence for "a terrible but unintentional accident."
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