Harry Dunn’s mother says UK must ‘stand up to US’ and refuse extradition requests

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The mother of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn has urged the British government to “stand up to” the US amid a continuing diplomatic row.

Donald Trump’s administration has refused to extradite suspect Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official, for prosecution over Mr Dunn’s death.

The 19-year-old was killed when his motorbike collided with Ms Sacoolas’s car outside a US military base in what she called an “unintentional accident”.


Ms Sacoolas, 42, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash in August and was able to return to the US.

American officials were reportedly furious at the UK’s decision to issue an international wanted notice for Ms Sacoolas, who was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December.

Despite the US’ continued refusal to extradite the suspect, the UK has agreed to send two fugitives across the Atlantic.

Mr Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said: “We don’t want any problems with the US government, but we can see that the US government is behaving like a bully.

“It will be a road to ruin if we back down as a country now and we have to stand up to them”

An extradition request submitted by the home secretary was rejected by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in January – a decision the State Department called “final”.

Ms Charles said the UK should refuse to send anyone to the US “until it agrees to play by the rules, starting with sending Anne Sacoolas back”.

The Home Office confirmed extradition requests had been approved by Priti Patel for Jabir Motiwala, 53, and Colin Wilkinson, 54, from Hull, last month.

Harry Dunn’s family hail ‘huge step’ as US suspect charged over his death

Mr Motiwala is wanted in the US to face charges of extortion, money laundering and conspiracy to import drugs, while Mr Wilkinson faces charges of downloading child sex abuse images in Texas.

The pair are fighting the decisions and have appeals pending in the High Court.

Radd Seiger, a spokesperson for Mr Dunn’s parents, said: ”Arrangements for sending wanted people across the Atlantic are hopelessly weighted in favour of the Americans.

“As we have seen in the case of Ms Sacoolas, the American government didn’t even bother to go through the motions of putting the case through the legal and court system.

”Pompeo just said no, it’s not happening and that his decision is final.

“In my numerous visits to Washington and speaking to leaders there, I sought to impress upon them just how stupid, reckless and short-sighted that stance would be.

”No-one would be going in the opposite direction and I have made it clear to leaders in Westminster that no-one is to go the other way until Anne Sacoolas is back.“

The Mail on Sunday said Washington officials were ”furious“ to learn UK police had put out Interpol red diffusion notice for Ms Sacoolas last week. It has been sent to a selection of countries, including Canada.

(Getty Images)

It reported that US officials confronted their British counterparts over the move, prompting talks last Thursday involving Boris Johnson, foreign secretary Dominic Raab and Ms Patel.

Interpol cannot compel nations to arrest suspects but if she visits another member state she could be detained.

Ms Sacoolas previously refused to return to Britain voluntarily to face prosecution.

“A criminal prosecution with a potential penalty of 14 years imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response,” her lawyer, Amy Jeffress, said in December.

“Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and continues to extend her deepest condolences to the family.”

Ms Sacoolas was twice interviewed by Northamptonshire Police, once on the day after the crash and on another occasion by officers who travelled to the US.

Mr Dunn’s family have also visited the country in an attempt to gain support and Boris Johnson spoke to Donald Trump about the case to “make clear that what has happened is not acceptable”.

But the US president has publicly defended Ms Sacoolas, saying that driving on the wrong side of the road “can happen” and adding: “It was an accident.”

Additional reporting by PA

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