Fri, 27 Jan 2023

LONDON, England: A UK court has confirmed that after admitting causing the death of a teenager by driving carelessly in England three years ago, Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat, will not return to the country for sentencing this week.

Harry Dunn, 19, died in August 2019 after his motorcycle was hit by a car driven on the wrong side of the road by Sacoolas near an air force base used by the US military in Northamptonshire.

Sacoolas, whose husband was a US intelligence officer working at the base, claimed diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution and left the UK shortly after the accident. The US government has refused to extradite her.

Appearing at London's Old Bailey court by videolink from the US in October, Sacoolas denied causing death by dangerous driving, but admitted a less serious charge.

The judge directed her to attend the sentencing this week in person.

In a statement, the Old Bailey said that an application for Sacoolas to take part and be sentenced via videolink had been renewed.

"The defense have supplied material in support of the application, including evidence that Mrs Sacoolas' government employer has advised her not to attend in person. The judge has granted the application," the statement said.

In response, the Dunn's family said they were "horrified," according to their spokesperson, Radd Seiger, who stated, "On the face of it, it appears that this is nothing short of a cowardly act on the part on an oppressor."

He also confirmed that he had asked for an urgent meeting with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to see what action the government would take.

The charge carries a maximum prison term of five years, but a community order or a shorter prison sentence could be imposed.

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