London — Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he and President Biden are “working together” to end a major diplomatic dispute over whether American Anne Sacoolas should face trial in Britain over the death of Harry Dunn. Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity shortly after the 19-year-old was killed when her car hit him as he drove his motorcycle near a military base used by the U.S. in England.
Sacoolas, 43, admitted to police that she caused the crash outside the RAF Croughton base in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019. The mother-of-three, whose husband Jonathan Sacoolas worked in an intelligence capacity at the base, which houses U.S. personnel, left the country a few weeks later after the U.S. asserted that she was entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Speaking at the G7 in Cornwall, Johnson said the president was “extremely sympathetic” and “actively engaged” in the case.
Mr. Biden has been open about losing his first wife, Neilia Hunter, and their one-year-old daughter Naomi in a car crash in 1972, and the trauma it caused him and his surviving sons Hunter and Beau.
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles said she “couldn’t be more grateful” that the president is involved.
Former President Donald Trump invited Dunn’s parents to the White House in late 2019 where, unbeknownst to them, Anne Sacoolas was waiting in an adjoining room. The family have said they declined the unexpected offer to meet with her, explaining that they weren’t emotionally ready at the time.
They later described their experience at the White House as “traumatic” and “a publicity stunt.”
Harry Dunn’s family have campaigned for Sacoolas to be stripped of the diplomatic immunity she claimed as the spouse of a U.S. intelligence officer working overseas. They want her to face a British court over the death.
Sacoolas, who lives in Virginia, was charged in the U.K. with causing death by dangerous driving in December 2019. An extradition request was rejected by the U.S. State Department in January 2020, a decision it later described as “final.”
If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Dunn’s family have also brought a civil claim against Sacoolas in Virginia, for unspecified damages.