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Harry Dunn’s parents to meet Priti Patel as extradition process begins

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Harry Dunn’s parents to meet Priti Patel as extradition process begins

Harry Dunn’s parents are set to meet Home Secretary Priti Patel as her office considers extraditing a US woman charged with causing the 19-year-old’s death by dangerous driving.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn will sit down with Ms Patel on Sunday.

The meeting comes just days after suspect Anne Sacoolas was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said they were looking forward to “discussing the tragic loss of Harry”.

Mr Dunn, 19, died in a road crash in Northamptonshire in August that led to Mrs Sacoolas leaving for the US under diplomatic immunity.

On Friday, she was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, following a campaign by Mr Dunn’s family.

His mother, Ms Charles, said the family was “relieved” Mrs Sacoolas, 42, had “finally” been charged.

But US officials said it was not “a helpful development” and Mrs Sacoolas’ lawyer said she would not return to the UK “to face a potential jail sentence for what was a terrible but unintentional accident”.

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Mr Dunn died after his motorbike was in collision with a car owned by Mrs Sacoolas outside RAF Croughton, where her husband Jonathan worked as an intelligence officer.

After it confirmed Mrs Sacoolas had been charged, the CPS said extradition proceedings had started, noting that the “Home Office is responsible for considering our request and deciding whether to formally issue this through US diplomatic channels”.

“Our specialist extradition team will be working closely with the UK Central Authority at the Home Office to do this,” it added.

In a tweet announcing the meeting with Ms Patel, Mr Seiger also thanked South Northamptonshire MP and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom for “all her support”.

Can Anne Sacoolas be extradited?

The extradition request is sent via the British Embassy to the US State Department.

A lawyer will then decide whether it falls under the dual-criminality treaty, where the alleged offence is a crime in both countries and carries a prison sentence of at least a year.

The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years’ imprisonment, although this is usually reserved for the most serious cases.

The US may reject the request for extradition, arguing that Mrs Sacoolas is still entitled to diplomatic immunity.

A statement from Amy Jeffress, Mrs Sacoolas’s lawyer, said she had “co-operated fully with the investigation and accepted responsibility”.

It added: “This was an accident, and a criminal prosecution with a potential penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response.

“We have been in contact with the UK authorities about ways in which Anne could assist with preventing accidents like this from happening in the future, as well as her desire to honour Harry’s memory.

“We will continue that dialogue in an effort to move forward from this terrible tragedy.”

Published at Sun, 22 Dec 2019 05:24:49 +0000

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