When teen motorcyclist Harry Dunn was killed in a road accident in the UK in August, his parents assumed the person responsible would go to jail. But it turned out the person responsible was an American, the wife of an intelligence officer working at an RAF military base. Three weeks after Dunn’s death, Ann Sacoolas returned to the United States claiming diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s parents have since been to the US to call for her return and even met with President Trump. Despite the fact that case is unlikely to be resolved, the Crown Prosecution Service has charged Sacoolas and started extradition proceedings:
Although Sacoolas at first cooperated with British police, she later claimed diplomatic immunity under international law and returned to the United States — despite telling police she had no plans to do so.
The US State Department expressed disappointment with the decision:
“We will continue to look for options for moving forward,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement. “We are disappointed by today’s announcement and fear that it will not bring a resolution closer.”…
“We do not believe that the UK’s charging decision is a helpful development,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, Sacoolas’ attorney says his client is really sorry but she won’t be returning to the UK to face the music.
Sacoolas’ attorney, Amy Jeffress, said in a statement to The Post on Friday that the diplomat’s wife remains “devastated” by the “tragic accident” that killed Dunn — but doesn’t plan to willingly return to the UK to face prosecution.
“Anne would do whatever she could to bring Harry back,” the statement read. “She is a mother herself and cannot imagine the pain of the loss of a child. She has cooperated fully with the investigation and accepted responsibility.”
That’s quite a statement. She’s devastated from the comforts of home and will continue to be terribly sad about it while going about her business. She (allegedly) killed someone and she’s going to face less justice than Jussie Smollett. Last week reporters for ITV caught up with her as she was driving away from her home (and sounding very put out about being disturbed):
Legally, it appears Sacoolas really does have immunity and can’t be compelled to return to the UK. I understand that diplomats residing in this country are given the same protections and that this is for a reason. But this case really does test the limits, in part because there doesn’t seem to be any doubt about who was responsible for Dunn’s death and in part because Sacoolas is only covered because of her husband, not for anything she was personally contributing.
Dunn’s family got the news about the charges yesterday and a Sky News reporter happened to be there. As you can see in this clip below, they were overcome with emotion. “Whatever happens now it doesn’t matter. We’ve got what we wanted,” Dunn’s father said. I hope it’s enough because it’s probably all they are going to get.