Harry Dunn family: 'US' refusal to send Anne Sacoolas back was political not legal decision'

American lawyers refuse to explain reasons to Northamptonshire family as no more can be done, says Radd Seiger

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 11:56 am

United States Government's refusal to extradite the woman accused of killing Harry Dunn was a political and not a legal decision, according to the Northamptonshire teenager's family.

They added US lawyers declined to explain to them why Anne Sacoolas will not be sent back to the UK as there was nothing more that could be done.

Family spokesman Radd Seiger, who is in Washington at the moment, will be meeting officials at the British embassy to discuss 'next steps'.

"This administration has now truly plumbed the depths of international relations and diplomacy," he said.

"We are now in a shocking position of having to come to terms with the fact that the world’s leading nation is not only abusing the conventions governing diplomatic immunity but now also cannot even be bothered to follow the process agreed in the treaty between the US and the UK.

"It is the worst case of arrogance and unilateralism that I can remember."

Harry, 19, died after his motorcycle was in a crash with Sacoolas' car being driven on the wrong side of the B4031 outside Croughton on August 27.

Harry Dunn
Harry Dunn

The American wife of a US official based at RAF Croughton flew back to the States claiming diplomatic immunity.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December, prompting an extradition request from the Home Office, which was turned down by the US State Department last month.

Mr Seiger said: "It is a totally lawless and baseless decision for which no proper reason has been given.

"The UK Government has made it clear that had the tragedy happened in the US at the hands of a UK diplomat, they would not have acted in the same way."

The US Government Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity at the time of the crash and to extradite her would render the system 'a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent'.

Harry's step-brother Ciaran Charles and Mr Seiger joined dozens of supporters for a second protest outside RAF Croughton on Sunday (February 2).

Bikers from across the country blocked the entrance to the base used by the US Air Force (USAF) - they say they will keep holding demonstrations until Sacoolas returns.

"Amazing turnout today. Thank you, everyone. US Government, you have picked a fight with the wrong people who came from all over the country," the spokesman tweeted on Sunday.

"Only going to be one winner here. Anne Sacoolas is coming back."

Meanwhile Northamptonshire Police will be providing road safety support to those working and visiting the base after Harry's death and several other near-misses involving American cars in the county.

The announcement came after Chief Inspector Tom Thompson met Ministry of Defence police, USAF security forces and RAF Croughton base officials last week.

“Road safety is a top priority for Northamptonshire Police so I welcome anything we can do across the county to reduce collisions and improve education.”