The United States has declined the United Kingdom’s request to extradite American citizen Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an American diplomat, who was charged with causing the death by dangerous driving of a British teenager last August.
A State Department spokesperson cited Sacoolas’ diplomatic status at the time of the accident and said granting such an extradition “would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent.
“The United States has a history of close law enforcement cooperation with the United Kingdom, and we value that relationship,” the spokesperson said. “The United States government again expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family for the loss of their son.”
The case of Anna Sacoolas, 42, has been a thorn in London’s close relations with Washington, stirring up debates over the limits of diplomatic immunity in cases unrelated to national security.
It has been a political headache for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is cultivating trade relations with Washington in a bid to offset the potential damage of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Briton Harry Dunn, 19, died on August 27 when his motorbike collided with a car driving on the wrong side of the road near an airbase in Northamptonshire, central England, which is used by the U.S. military as a communications hub.
Sacoolas admitted in October to being the driver, but has cited immunity while refusing to return to Britain to face justice, as Dunn’s parents demand.
CNN / Military.com