US rejects extradition request from UK over fatal road crash

Charlotte Charles, center, the mother of Harry Dunn who was killed in a crash by the wife of a U.S. diplomat, takes part in a demonstration against NATO and U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit, in London, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. Trump and his NATO counterparts were gathering in London Tuesday to mark the alliance’s 70th birthday amid deep tensions as spats between leaders expose a lack of unity that risks undermining military organization’s credibility. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

LONDON (AP) — The British government on Friday condemned a decision by the United States not to extradite an American woman involved in a fatal road accident.

Anne Sacoolas has been charged by British prosecutors with causing death by dangerous driving over the crash that killed 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn.

Dunn died in August after his motorbike collided with a car driven by Sacoolas outside RAF Croughton, a British military base in central England used by U.S. forces. Sacoolas, whose husband was an intelligence officer at the base, returned to the U.S. soon after.

The State Department says Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity when she was in Britain, and to send her to face criminal charges would set “an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the U.S. decision “a denial of justice.”

“I called the U.S. ambassador earlier to express the government’s disappointment about this decision,” Raab said, adding that U.K. officials are “urgently considering our options.”

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, families of diplomats are granted immunity from arrest or detention. British prosecutors, however, maintain that immunity does not apply to dependants of consular officials based outside London.

Dunn’s family has urged Sacoolas to return and face British justice, and met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington as part of their campaign.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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