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UK Fumes After US Refuses to Extradite Anne Sacoolas

State Dept. rep says doing so would 'set an extraordinarily troubling precedent'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2020 7:43 AM CST
Charlotte Charles, mother of Harry Dunn, speaks at a news conference in New York as she is joined by Dunn's father Tim Dunn, on Oct. 14, 2019.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – The UK is fuming after the US announced Thursday that it would not extradite the diplomat's wife charged with dangerous driving causing the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn. While the government "expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family," Anne Sacoolas' extradition "would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent," a State Department rep said, per NBC News. Authorities say Sacoolas, the wife of an intelligence agent, was driving on the wrong side of the road outside a US military base when she struck the motorcyclist in August. She claimed diplomatic immunity under a 1995 treaty applying to family members of staff at the Croughton base, though UK authorities say it became irrelevant once Sacoolas returned to the US.

"This amounts to a denial of justice," UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab responded Friday, per the Guardian, noting "we are now urgently considering our options." He said he had informed the US ambassador "that the UK would have acted differently if this had been a UK diplomat serving in the US." "Is the US position now that it is OK for their service personnel to come over to the UK and kill British citizens and get on the next plane home?" a Dunn family spokesman added, claiming it was the first time the US had denied such an extradition request from the UK. An attorney for Sacoolas has said she will not return voluntarily as "a potential penalty of 14 years imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response." (Read more Harry Dunn stories.)

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