Dunn family urge Raab to set up US government meeting ahead of Washington trip

The family of Harry Dunn have urged the Foreign Secretary to help them set up a meeting with the US government ahead of his trip to Washington this week.

Dominic Raab is due to meet US secretary of state Mike Pompeo amid high-level discussions about a possible virtual trial for suspect Anne Sacoolas.

The US asserted the 43-year-old had diplomatic immunity following a road crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire which killed Mr Dunn in August last year.

Mike Pompeo UK visit
Mike Pompeo UK visit

She was able to return to the US on a commercial flight almost three weeks after the incident.

Ahead of the Foreign Secretary’s trip to the US, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Our position on (the case) has been very clear, we want justice to be served for Harry and his family and we have made that point at the highest levels of the US administration on a number of occasions and will continue to do so.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas said the suspect “remains willing to discuss a resolution, including the possibility of virtual proceedings, with the UK authorities”.

Mr Raab’s trip comes shortly after the Dunn family’s meeting with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Max Hill QC – who said the Crown Prosecution Service had concluded Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity at the time of the crash.

His words are a direct contradiction to the Foreign Secretary’s speech in Parliament in October last year, when he said: “As it has been widely reported, at the time of the accident, the American involved had diplomatic immunity.”

The family’s spokesman, Radd Seiger, told the PA news agency he believed all parties “must now agree” that if Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity, “she will be returned to the UK immediately”.

Mr Pompeo rejected an extradition request for Sacoolas in January, shortly after she was charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.

Speaking before a meeting with senior officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on Monday, Mr Seiger told PA: “The family have noted that Dominic Raab is flying to Washington this week to meet with Secretary Pompeo.

On my way down to London for meetings with officials at @FCDOGovUK in advance of @DominicRaab’s visit to Washington DC tomorrow. We will not rest until we have #Justice4Harry. #HarryDunnpic.twitter.com/NA6ET7Xlj5

— Radd Seiger (@RaddSeiger) September 14, 2020

“It is high time that this needless denial of justice be resolved.

“We are asking the Foreign Secretary to make it clear to Mr Pompeo that nothing short of Mrs Sacoolas going through the UK justice system will do – particularly following our meeting with the DPP last week when he said he could not have charged her if she had diplomatic immunity.”

He continued: “All parties must now agree that if it is ultimately found by the court that Mrs Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity, she will be returned to the UK immediately to face the charge against her.

“We would very much hope that an opportunity will come shortly for us to be able to talk to the American administration directly ourselves.

“We believe this is a good chance for the Foreign Secretary to make this happen.

“I’ve been invited to a meeting this afternoon with senior officials at the FCDO where I will be making the family’s views very clear following the meeting with the DPP last week.”