US State Department lawyers decline meeting with Harry Dunn’s parents

Lawyers for the US State Department have declined a meeting with the parents of Harry Dunn – saying a “decision on this case has already been made”.

The teenager’s mother Charlotte Charles and father Tim Dunn had hoped to discuss their son’s case with the State Department after advice from the British embassy in Washington DC, the PA news agency understands.

Mr Dunn’s family have claimed that US secretary of state Mike Pompeo “made a political decision” to reject an extradition request for 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas.

Harry Dunn death
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles (Aaron Chown/PA)

The 19-year-old’s parents have said Mr Pompeo made the decision prior to “the legal process outlined in the extradition treaty being completed”.

PA understands that the State Department’s response to a request for meeting was that “the Office of the Legal Adviser is not in a position to meet to discuss it in further detail”.

Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike collided with a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

Mrs Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, claimed diplomatic immunity after the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

Addressing the request for a meeting with the State Department, a spokesman for Mr Dunn’s family, Radd Seiger, told PA: “The parents have now discovered that the US government could not even bring itself to follow the legal and judicial process that should have been followed prior to the rejection having been made.

Pompeo couldn't be bothered to follow the legal/ judicial process in the US UK treaty prior to declining the extradition of #annesacoolas and State Dept lawyers wouldn't meet with the parents to explain why. A lawless shambles. See attached statement.https://t.co/YcjSsT6OYf

— Radd Seiger (@RaddSeiger) February 3, 2020

“Secretary Pompeo interfered by making his political decision first without regard to the rule of law or due process.

“Harry’s parents accordingly sought a meeting with the lawyers in the State Department so that the situation could be explained to them.

“Not denying that that the process had not been followed, the lawyers have simply stated that the decision has been made and they are not in a position to discuss it any further.

“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 UK.

“It is the worst case of arrogance and unilateralism that I can remember. Harry’s parents and supporters will not accept anything less than Anne Sacoolas returning to the UK and I will be meeting with officials in the British embassy in Washington DC tomorrow morning to discuss next steps.”

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