Harry Dunn suspect ‘willing to discuss resolution’ despite extradition refusal

Harry Dunn’s alleged killer “remains willing to discuss a resolution with the UK authorities” despite the US State Department describing the refusal to extradite her as “final”.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Anne Sacoolas said their position had not changed and they wanted “nothing more than to find a path forward”.

When asked if they were working towards an alternative resolution in the case, the US Department of Justice declined to comment.

Mr Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, told the PA news agency that she and Tim Dunn, Harry’s father, wanted to sit down with Sacoolas once the prosecution was over to “rebuild our shattered lives”.

Harry Dunn death
Harry Dunn death

The 19-year-old was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside US military base RAF Croughton in August 2019.

Sacoolas, 43, had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government and was able to return to her home country.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving but an initial extradition request submitted by the Home Office was rejected by then US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in January last year.

State Department spokesman Ned Price was the first member of President Joe Biden’s administration to speak about the case, and maintained the same position as the previous government.

He said in a statement: “The United States government has declined the United Kingdom’s request for extradition of a US citizen involved in a tragic vehicle accident that occurred in the United Kingdom.

“Our decision in that regard was final.

“At the time the accident occurred, and for the duration of her stay in the UK, the US citizen driver in this case had immunity from criminal jurisdiction.”

The Andrew Marr Show
The Andrew Marr Show

The Foreign Office said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab raised the case with new secretary of state Antony Blinken in their first telephone conversation on Wednesday.

But speaking after Mr Price’s statement, Sacoolas’s lawyers said: “We have been and remain willing to discuss a resolution with the UK authorities.

“Anne would like nothing more than to find a path forward and to provide the family some measure of peace.”

Reacting to the statement from Sacoolas’s lawyers, Ms Charles told PA: “It is good to see that Mrs Sacoolas remains willing to find a resolution. We need that so much.

“This has never been about vengeance or retribution for us but justice for our boy and accountability.

“When the prosecution is all over, Tim and I hope to meet with Mrs Sacoolas so that both families can begin to rebuild their shattered lives.

“We know she and her children are victims too. We have so many questions we need to have answered and we need the inquest and public inquiry to have answers to them.”