Harry Dunn: UK powerless to force extradition of suspect, says Raab

Teen’s mother pleads with government to make son ‘top priority’ during US secretary of state’s London visit

Emily Goddard
Sunday 19 July 2020 18:27
Harry Dunn’s mother makes emotional appeal to PM to make son ‘top priority’

The UK is powerless to force the extradition of the suspected killer of Harry Dunn, the foreign secretary said as the teenager’s mother called on the government to make her son a “top priority”.

Dominic Raab said the UK government is “on the family’s side” and will raise the issue with Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, when he visits London on Monday.

However, Mr Raab said he wanted to be realistic about the possibility of the return of suspect Anne Sacoolas so as not to “raise expectations which are then going to be dashed”.

Mr Raab told Sky News: “There’s a denial of justice here.

“There’s an extradition request that’s outstanding, we’ve called on Anne Sacoolas to return and our American partners to facilitate that.

“But there’s no measures that we could I think credibly, realistically take which is somehow going to force the US or indeed Anne Sacoolas to comply with this.”

Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike collided with a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on 27 August last year.

Suspect Ms Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US intelligence official, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, triggering an international controversy and a diplomatic row.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December.

The Home Office submitted an extradition request in January, but Mr Pompeo rejected it. A State Department spokesperson said the decision was “final”.

Dunn’s family has made repeated calls for Ms Sacoolas to face justice in the UK.

The 19-year-old died when his motorbike collided with a car in August last year 

On Sunday, his mother Charlotte Charles said it has been “beyond excruciating every single day” since her son’s death, and appealed to Boris Johnson, Mr Raab and Mr Pompeo to make his case “top priority”.

In a video statement, Ms Charles said: “Mr Raab, Mr Pompeo, Mr Johnson, when you get together next week with all of your families fully intact whilst mine is in complete tatters and my family has been ripped apart, can you please, please discuss Harry?

“We’ve been assured he’s high on your list of priorities to discuss amongst all of the other important global issues that you have surrounding you but please, please make him top priority.”

The Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said Mr Raab “needs to stand up to the US now”.

Speaking to Sky News, he added: “This is the United Kingdom’s opportunity, Mr Raab’s opportunity, to show the nation that he is going to fulfil his first duty, which is to safeguard and protect the lives of UK citizens.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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