US diplomat Anne Sacoolas who fled UK after crash that killed biker Harry Dunn will face first hearing in UK on Thursday
Dunn, a 19-year-old British man died following a road traffic collision, on August 27, 2019
Anne Sacoolas, a US citizen is accused of causing Dunn’s death by dangerous driving
Sacoolas evaded prosecution, asserting diplomatic immunity and fleeing UK days later
Dunn’s parents who have been unrelenting seeking justice for their son since 2019, will now have their day in court on Sept. 29
It follows her lawyers saying ‘no agreement’ reached for her to appear via video
US diplomat Anne Sacoolas will face court on Thursday over the vehicular death of Harry Dunn three years ago.
The hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court was supposed to happen earlier but was vacated to allow ‘ongoing’ discussion with the US suspect.
Sacoolas is accused of causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal road crash outside a US military base in the UK in August, 2019.
Dunn, a 19-year-old British man died following a road traffic collision, on August 27, 2019.
He was riding his motorcycle near Croughton, Northamptonshire, when a car travelling in the opposite direction and on the wrong side of the road collided with him.
The car was driven by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of CIA employee Jonathan Sacoolas, stationed at the time at USAF listening station RAF Croughton.
Sacoolas admitted that she had been driving the car on the wrong side of the road, and the police said that, based on CCTV footage, they believed that to be true. Dunn was pronounced dead at the Major Trauma Centre of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
The fallout of the handling of the collision has been diplomatic tension between UK and the US.
The US assisted Sacoolas’ flight from England and the state department lent support for her claims to diplomatic immunity.
On 20 December 2019, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that Anne Sacoolas was to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, with the case later referred to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a hearing on 29 September 2022.
Today in a statement confirming the court date, the Crown Prosecution Service said: “A hearing has been scheduled for September 29 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
“We remind everyone that Mrs. Sacoolas has a right to a fair trial and there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice any proceedings.”
After the suspect asserted diplomatic immunity backed by the US government following the collision, she was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident.
In December after the CPS announced that it remained ‘committed to securing justice in this matter,’ Sacoolas’ attorneys said: ‘While we have always been willing to discuss a virtual hearing, there is no agreement at this time.’
An extradition request for Sacoolas was submitted by the Home Office after she was charged with death by dangerous driving, but that was rejected by the US State Department in January 2020.
The Dunn family were then advised that, although there could be no criminal proceedings in the US, they could bring a civil claim for damages against Sacoolas as her immunity was no longer valid when she returned to her home country.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan attempted to throw the case out on the grounds it should be heard in the UK.
Judge Thomas Ellis dismissed Sacoolas’ submissions that the UK was a ‘more convenient’ forum, keeping the case in Virginia, describing the motion as ‘not warranted’.
Harry’s parents then flew out to the US to give evidence under oath as part of the ‘discovery’ process.