UK family loses court battle in US diplomatic immunity case


LONDON (AP) — The parents of a British teen who was killed in a car crash lost a court battle with the U.K. 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 U.S. airbase in central England last August.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 09: Family spokesman Radd Seiger speaks to the media on behalf of the parents of Harry Dunn, Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles, after meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on October 9, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The car’s driver, Anne Sacoolas, left for the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.K. 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 U.K, and we will support the family with their legal claim in the U.S.,” Raab said.

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