Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas ‘was working as US spy’

Lawyer confirms suspect was ‘employed by intelligence agency in the US’ at time of fatal road crash

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 04 February 2021 18:37 GMT
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Harry Dunn’s alleged killer was working for a US intelligence agency at the time of his death, her lawyer has confirmed.

Anne Sacoolas was leaving US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019 when her car was involved in a crash with the 19-year-old’s motorbike.

The 43-year-old had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government and returned home about three weeks later.

She was charged with causing the teenager’s death by dangerous driving, but a Home Office extradition request was rejected by the US State Department in January last year.

Both the Donald Trump administration and new president Joe Biden’s administration have described that decision as “final”.

Drive on Left arrows on the road outside RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire, near where Harry Dunn died (PA)

The Alexandria district court in Virginia is currently hearing an application made by Ms Sacoolas to dismiss a civil claim for damages made against her by the Dunn family.

The suspect’s barrister John McGavin told the court she was “employed by an intelligence agency in the US” at the time of the fatal road crash – which was “especially a factor” in her departure from the UK.

When asked why Ms Sacoolas had fled the country, Mr McGavin told the court he could not explain “completely candidly”, adding: “I know the answer, but I cannot disclose it.”

The court was told Ms Sacoolas fled the UK due to “issues of security” and had not returned because she feared she “would not have a fair trial” because of the “media attention”.

The admission from Sacoolas’s own barrister about her employment at the time of the crash has raised the question of the diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf.

Under the agreements at RAF Croughton dating back to 1995, anyone working at the base from the US as part of the “administrative and technical staff” would have their immunity pre-waived, meaning they would not be immune from criminal jurisdiction.

Responding to the news, Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, told Sky News: “It’s pretty hard to get my head around, I can’t quite move past it.” 

Family spokesman Radd Seiger told the PA news agency UK authorities must “urgently investigate whether she had diplomatic immunity” at the time of the incident.

In a short statement issued after the hearing, he said: “Given the admission in open court by Mrs Sacoolas’s counsel that she was employed by US intelligence services at the time of the crash, the UK authorities must now urgently reinvestigate whether she had diplomatic immunity.

“They have to investigate given that employees had their immunity pre-waived under the 1995 RAF Croughton legal agreement.”

The Dunn family’s barrister in the US, Agniezska Fryzsman, told the court the British government had written a letter to the court to “endorse” their claim.

The case was adjourned until a further hearing at the same court on 17 February.

Additional reporting by PA

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