22:19, January 23 249 0 theguardian.com

2020-01-23 22:19:04
Harry Dunn: UK says US denying Anne Sacoolas extradition request is a 'denial of justice'

An extradition request for the US woman charged with causing the death of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn has been turned down by secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the family spokesman has said.

The 19-year-old’s parents were informed of Pompeo’s decision in a phone call with their constituency MP Andrea Leadsom on Thursday.

On Friday Britain called the decision a “denial of justice”.

“We are disappointed in this decision, which appears to be a denial of justice,” a spokeswoman for the Home Office said.

“We are urgently considering our options.”

Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on 27 August 2019.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, was charged with causing his death by dangerous driving in December. She was granted diplomatic immunity and was able to return to the US, sparking an international controversy.

The case has been a thorn in London’s close relations with Washington, stirring up debates over the limits of diplomatic immunity in cases unrelated to national security.

A family spokesman, Radd Seiger, said Dunn’s parents “were not at all surprised”.

“This is a lawless, corrupt administration that appears intent on attacking even its closest international ally,” he said.

“If Trump and Pompeo think this is an end to the matter, they have another think coming to them.”

The family would meet with the government to discuss the next steps.

The US state department said Sacoolas had immunity from criminal jurisdiction during her stay in the UK.

“If the United States were to grant the UK’s extradition request, it would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent,” it said.

The case has been a political headache for the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, who is cultivating trade relations with Washington hoping to offset the potential damage of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

The US president, Donald Trump, has called the crash a “terrible accident”, saying it was common for Americans in Britain to have difficulty driving on the left side of the road.