2021-09-21 19:43:41 Resolution Reached in Case Between Harry Dunn’s Family and Anne Sacoolas

Resolution Reached in Case Between Harry Dunn’s Family and Anne Sacoolas

LONDON: The family of a 19-year-old British motorcyclist has reached an agreement with the US State Department employee who killed him with her car two years ago, the latest development in a case that sparked diplomatic tensions between Britain and the US.

According to Harry Dunn, a spokesman for the teenager’s family, the two parties reached an agreement in a lawsuit filed by the family.

“It’s a watershed moment for us that we’ve reached a resolution in the civil case,” said spokesman Radd Seiger. “We can now look forward and concentrate on the criminal case, which we are confident will be resolved soon.” He refused to reveal any information about the settlement.

Anne Sacoolas, an American State Department employee, was driving on the wrong side of the road near the village of Croughton in central England in August 2019 when she collided with Mr. Dunn, who died at a hospital shortly after the accident.

Ms. Sacoolas, whose husband was working for the US government at a British military base at the time, fled Britain under diplomatic immunity a few weeks later. Ms. Sacoolas was charged by British prosecutors with causing death by dangerous driving, but the US government denied her extradition request. The decision, which the British government described as a “denial of justice,” sparked outrage in the country.

The agreement reached between Mr. Dunn’s family and Ms. Sacoolas is unlikely to put an end to the years-long dispute between Washington and London over whether she should be forced to return to Britain to face charges. Liz Truss, the British foreign secretary, said in a phone call with Mr. Dunn’s mother and Mr. Seiger on Tuesday that the settlement did not mean the end of her office’s efforts to extradite Ms. Sacoolas to Britain.

Mr. Seiger stated, “She made it clear that the government’s position is that justice must be served.”

Mr. Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, have campaigned for Ms. Sacoolas to be prosecuted in Britain in the years since the accident. They went to the White House in October 2019 for a meeting with President Donald J. Trump, who surprised them by revealing that Ms. Sacoolas was in an adjoining room. Mr. Dunn’s parents declined her request to meet with her. They later filed a civil lawsuit against her in Virginia.

Members of diplomatic staff and their families posted in a foreign country are entitled to immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Last year, Britain and the United States agreed to make it more difficult for diplomats to claim immunity for crimes committed outside the scope of their duties. The changes, however, only apply to future cases, not Ms. Sacoolas’.

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Resolution Reached in Case Between Harry Dunn’s Family and Anne Sacoolas