Harry Dunn case: Dominic Raab hints at ‘virtual trial’ for Anne Sacoolas

Harry Dunn's death has exposed profound complications and contradiction's in the UK-US relationship

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has claimed that a “virtual trial” for Harry Dunn’s alleged killer could be within reach.

The apparent breakthrough in the long-running case comes after a meeting between Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and US President, Joe Biden, on the fringes of the G7 summit in Cornwall.   

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the Foreign Secretary said: "The US has not agreed to the extradition, but the path is clear for the legal authorities in the UK to approach Anne Sacoolas's lawyers - without any problem from the US government - to see whether some kind of virtual trial or process could allow some accountability and some solace and some justice for the Dunn family."

But Raab was at pains to stress that is for the UK judicial authorities – as opposed to the Foreign Office – “to deal with the Sacoolas lawyers and also the justice system on the US side”.

Harry, 19, was killed in August 2019 after US spy, Anne Sacoolas, crashed into his motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, which houses a US spy base.   

Sacoolas, who was driving on the wrong side of the road at the time, quickly fled the UK by claiming diplomatic immunity.

She was aided in this effort by the UK’s Foreign Office which was keen to avoid a clash with the US government.

According to court documents Sacoolas is a serving US intelligence officer, as is her husband, Jonathan Sacoolas, who was a passenger at the time of the deadly crash.

Reacting to the latest development, Radd Seiger, who acts as a spokesman for the Dunn family, said: "It is a huge development and we are grateful to the politicians for making this possible”.

"This campaign has never been about vengeance or retribution, but about accountability for the loss of their totally innocent son”, Seiger added.

Earlier this year, Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, clearly rejected the prospect of Sacoolas performing some kind of “community service” in her native US by way of a punishment.

Charles told Sky News on March 09 that Sacoolas must return to the UK to face the British justice system, as opposed to undergoing a substantially watered-down virtual trial in the US. 

If the Dunn family now accepts the offer of a virtual trial – and by extension a symbolic rather than an actual punishment for Sacoolas – the British public is likely to interpret that as a major climb-down.




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