Harry Dunn’s alleged killer will NOT face court hearing next week after her lawyers denied there was an agreement for her to appear via video
Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas will not face a court hearing next week after her lawyers denied there was an agreement for her to appear via video.
The hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday has been vacated to allow ‘ongoing’ discussion with the US suspect, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Radd Seiger, the Dunn family’s spokesman, urged for ‘justice and closure to be achieved soon’, adding: ‘It is vitally important for their mental health.’
Sacoolas is accused of causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal road crash outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019.
The suspect had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government following the collision, and was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident.
The announcement follows a statement last month in which the CPS said it remained ‘committed to securing justice in this matter’ and that the case would be heard on Tuesday.
Immediately after December’s statement, Sacoolas’ legal representatives said: ‘While we have always been willing to discuss a virtual hearing, there is no agreement at this time.’
Harry Dunn’s alleged killer will not face a court hearing next week. The Crown Prosecution Service said the hearing had been vacated to allow ‘ongoing’ discussion with the US suspect
US citizen Anne Sacoolas (pictured in Virginia) is accused of killing the teenage motorcyclist in a road crash outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019
Mr Seiger said: ‘Harry Dunn’s family have just been informed that the hearing on Tuesday 18th January has had to be postponed.’
A statement issued on their behalf read: ‘We have full faith in the Crown Prosecution Service and will wait to hear from them with further developments, hopefully in the near future.
‘Harry’s family were obviously looking forward to the hearing on Tuesday so they hope an agreement will be reached sooner rather than later.
‘It is vitally important for their mental health that justice and closure is achieved soon.’
A spokesperson for the CPS said: ‘Following engagement between the parties, the hearing on 18 January at Westminster Magistrates’ Court has been vacated.
‘This is to enable ongoing discussions between the CPS and Anne Sacoolas’s legal representatives to continue.
‘Mrs Sacoolas has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice any proceedings.’
An extradition request for Sacoolas was submitted by the Home Office after she was charged with death by dangerous driving, but that was rejected by the US State Department in January 2020.
In a statement, Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger urged for ‘justice and closure to be achieved soon’, adding: ‘It is vitally important for their [the family’s] mental health’
Mr Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, pictured above. A statement issued on their behalf said: ‘We have full faith in the Crown Prosecution Service and will wait to hear from them with further developments, hopefully in the near future’
The Dunn family were then advised that, although there could be no criminal proceedings in the US, they could bring a civil claim for damages against Sacoolas as her immunity was no longer valid when she returned to her home country.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan attempted to throw the case out on the grounds it should be heard in the UK.
Judge Thomas Ellis dismissed Sacoolas’s submissions that the UK was a ‘more convenient’ forum, keeping the case in Virginia, describing the motion as ‘not warranted’.
Harry’s parents then flew out to the US to give evidence under oath as part of the ‘discovery’ process.