Anne Sacoolas faces virtual trial in Harry Dunn’s death

An American diplomat’s wife who killed a UK teen motorcyclist in a 2019 wrong-way crash could face a virtual trial in the 19-year-old’s death, according to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Noting that “the US has not agreed to extradition,” Raab told BBC radio that “the path is clear for the legal authorities in the UK to approach Anne Sacoolas’ lawyers — without any problem from the US government — to see whether some kind of virtual trial or process could allow some accountability,” Agence France-Presse reported.

The top diplomat made the announcement Saturday after talks between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden, who lost a wife and daughter in a car accident.

Harry Dunn.
19-year-old Harry Dunn.

Sacoolas, 43, has admitted that she was driving on the wrong side of the road as she left a US airbase in central England in August 2019 when her car crashed into Harry Dunn’s motorbike, killing him.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but the US State Department rejected a request to extradite her to Britain to face trial because of diplomatic immunity.

Dunn’s family filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, last year. They asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing it should be heard in the UK instead.

Anne Sacoolas.
Anne Sacoolas is charged with causing death by dangerous driving in the UK.

The incident was discussed during talks that Johnson held with Biden on Thursday, on the eve of the G7 summit in England.

Johnson later said that Biden had “has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply about the issue,” as his first wife and daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972. He said Biden was “extremely sympathetic” to the situation.

A virtual trial could “allow some accountability and some solace and some justice for the Dunn family,” Raab said, adding that they “deserve no less.”

Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said: “We are incredibly grateful that Harry’s case is being taken so seriously as to be raised on the eve of the G-7 meeting with so many worldwide crises going on.”

She added, “We very much hope that President Biden takes a different view to the previous administration.”

Charlotte and Bruce Charles, Harry Dunn's parents.
Harry Dunn’s parents, Charlotte and Bruce Charles, are hopeful that President Biden could help them seek justice.
Daniel William McKnight