Updated: Monday, 6th April 2020 @ 8:41am

Backlash over US rejection to extradite Anne Sacoolas suspected of killing Harry Dunn

Backlash over US rejection to extradite Anne Sacoolas suspected of killing Harry Dunn

| By Emma Gibbs

The foreign secretary has expressed disappointment over the US government’s rejection to extradite Anne Sacoolas to the UK. 

19-year-old Harry Dunn died in hospital after a car crash outside RAF Croughton, a US military air base in Northamptonshire.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving after her car collided with Harry’s motorcycle on 27 August 2019. She cooperated with police, however days later she returned to America on the grounds of ‘diplomatic immunity’ as her husband is an intelligence officer.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, phoned the US Ambassador to express the government’s disappointment shortly after the extradition rejection was announced on 24 January.

  • The US Secretary of State announced that Anne Sacoolas will not be extradited to the UK
  • Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, described the decision as “denial of justice”
  • MP for South Northamptonshire seeking justice for Harry after “frustrating news”
  • “She has to come back,” says Harry’s mother 
  • Meeting between Mike Pompeo, Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab to go ahead on Wednesday
  • Talks to improve driving safety measures around US air bases

In a statement on Twitter Mr Raab said: “We feel this amounts to a denial of justice, and that Anne Sacoolas should return to the UK.” 

“We are now urgently considering our options,” he added. 

MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, expressed disappointment on behalf of Harry’s family and described the news as “frustrating”.

Ms Leadsom acknowledged that it was a tragic road accident, something that happens all over the world. However she expressed concern that the decision to not extradite Anne Sacoolas is both an obstruction to justice and causing added grief to Harry’s family.

“The fact that there is no justice for Harry makes the pain of losing him so much worse and it’s that that we have to address,” said Ms Leadsom.

However speaking on the meeting between the US and the UK, Ms Leadsom described the talks as “cordial”. She went on to add that the relationship between the US and the UK is deep and longstanding.  

Moving forwards, Ms Leadsom commented that she will be looking into whether other similar extradition rejections have happened in the past. 

“We are all determined to see justice done for Harry,” she said.

Harry’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, are continuing their campaign and are adamant that Anne Sacoolas must face justice. 

“She has to come back it’s the only right thing to do...I don’t care how long it takes,” said Ms Charles. 

The news came as no surprise to British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, as he preempted the chances of Mrs Sacoolas being handed over to the UK were very low. However, he reiterated that “we will continue to make every effort that we can.” 

Following the decision to refuse extradition Boris Johnson telephoned US President Donald Trump to reiterate the need to return the suspect. 

However, even if Mrs Sacoolas does not return to the UK there are other legal options being discussed. 

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is due to visit London this Wednesday for talks with Boris Johnson and Mr Raab. 

Harry’s parents have also drawn attention to the dangers of Americans driving on the wrong side of the road. 

They have contacted Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, to discuss improving the driving safety measures around US air bases on UK soil.