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UK prosecutors say US citizen will face criminal proceedings in teen’s death

Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced on Monday that the case against Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat who fatally hit a British teenager with her car in 2019, will go before magistrates in January. Sacoolas fatally hit 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who was on his motorbike, in 2019 while driving on the wrong side of the road. Following the crash, Sacoolas faced criminal charges in the U.K., but left the country claiming diplomatic immunity.

The CPS had previously authorized a charge of causing death by dangerous driving against Sacoolas. The U.S. State Department later rejected a request from the U.K. to extradite her.

As the BBC reported, it is unclear what charges Sacoolas will face at a hearing scheduled at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 18.

“While the challenges and complexity of this case are well known, we remain committed to securing justice in this matter,” a CPS spokesperson told the BBC. “Anne Sacoolas has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice any proceedings.”

In a statement provided to The Hill, Radd Seiger, spokesperson for Dunn’s family, said “this is no time for celebration.”

Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said her family was feeling “emotional and overwhelmed” by the news.

“It is all that we asked for following Harry’s death,” said Charles. “There are still so many questions that we need answers to. Once the criminal case is out of the way, we can turn our attention to Harry’s inquest and the parliamentary inquiry.

Dunn’s father, Tim Dunn, said that while he is “glad that we have reached the point where our main campaign objective is being met,” he can never forgive the U.S. government for its actions in this case.

“It has taken everything out of us,” said Dunn. “This was not what diplomatic immunity was intended for. That’s what our campaign was all about. I am so proud of everyone at Team Harry.”

Arnold & Porter, the D.C.-based law firm representing Sacoolas, told The Hill in a statement, “While we have always been willing to discuss a virtual hearing, there is no agreement at this time.”

Earlier this year, Dunn’s family reached a settlement in the civil case against Sacoolas, though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Seiger said at the time that the settlement offered “considerable relief” but the family “continue to suffer unimaginable pain and miss him each and every day.”

“The family feel that they can now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case,” Seiger said at the time. “Harry’s family will never be able to move on from his loss, but they are more determined than ever to continue to move forward.”

Tags Crown Prosecution Service Death of Harry Dunn United Kingdom–United States relations

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