UK family loses court battle in US diplomatic immunity case

The family has been seeking justice for 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike crashed into a car driven on the wrong side of the road outside a US airbase in central England last August.
Dunn’s parents launched the court case to argue that Britain’s Foreign Office wrongly decided Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.(REUTERS)
Dunn’s parents launched the court case to argue that Britain’s Foreign Office wrongly decided Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.(REUTERS)
Published on Nov 24, 2020 06:48 PM IST
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London | ByAssociated Press | Posted by Kunal Gaurav

The parents of a British teen who was killed in a car crash lost a court battle with the UK government Tuesday over whether their son’s alleged killer, an American woman, had diplomatic immunity.

The family has been seeking justice for 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike crashed into a car driven on the wrong side of the road outside a US airbase in central England last August.

The car’s driver, Anne Sacoolas, left for the US several weeks after the collision. Officials said she was entitled to diplomatic immunity because her husband worked at the airbase.

Sacoolas, 43, was charged in December with causing death by dangerous driving, but the US State Department rejected a request to extradite her to Britain to face trial.

Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, launched the court case to argue that Britain’s Foreign Office wrongly decided Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.

But two judges rejected that Tuesday, ruling that the American “enjoyed immunity from UK criminal jurisdiction at the time of Harry’s death.”

The teen’s mother said she was determined to continue finding justice for her son. She was backed by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who said he stands with the family.

“We’re clear that Anne Sacoolas needs to face justice in the UK, and we will support the family with their legal claim in the US,” Raab said.

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