United States rejects extradition of driver charged in fatal U.K. accident

Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The United States has rejected Britain's request for extradition of the wife of a Britain-based U.S. diplomat charged last month with dangerous driving in a U.K. accident that killed a teenager last summer.

Authorities said Anne Sacoolas, 42, allegedly drove on the wrong side of the road when her car collided with a motorcycle driven by Harry Dunn, 19, who died in the hospital after the crash on Aug. 27, in Northamptonshire. The town about 60 miles northwest of London is close to a Royal Air Force base that hosts a U.S. Air Force communication station. Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the country shortly after the accident.


Chief Crown Prosecutor Janine Smith authorized local police to charge Sacoolas with "causing death by dangerous driving" on Dec. 20 and started extradition proceedings.

The Home Office, which is responsible for formally issuing the extradition request, announced it last Friday.

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On Saturday, the U.S. State Department called the request "an abuse" of the extradition treaty and "highly inappropriate" because of her diplomatic status as the wife of a U.S. diplomat at the time of the crash.


Radd Seiger, spokesman for the Dunn family, described the U.S. public criticism of the request as "nonsense."

"Please disregard all the nonsense coming out of the State Department at the moment. You may disregard that as Anne Sacoolas will be coming back to the U.K. to face the justice system," Seiger said.

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"No one, whether diplomat or otherwise, is above the law," he added.

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