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US Refusal to Extradite Diplomat’s Wife Denies Justice: UK

LONDON – Britain rebuked the United States on Friday for refusing to extradite the wife of a diplomat accused of a car accident that killed a British teenager, calling it a “miscarriage of justice”.
The Anna Sacoolas case was a thorn in London’s close relations with Washington, sparking debate over the limits of diplomatic immunity in cases unrelated to national security.
“We are disappointed with this decision, which appears to be a denial of justice,” said a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry.
“We are urgently considering our options.”
Briton Harry Dunn died in August when his motorbike collided with a car traveling on the wrong side of the road near an air base in Northamptonshire in central England which is used by the American military as a communications hub.
Sacoolas, who admitted to being the driver, was charged by the British police with causing death by dangerous driving.
However, she invoked immunity while refusing to return to Britain to face justice, as requested by Dunn’s parents.
The parents of the 19-year-old were informed of the decision of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a telephone call with their deputy Thursday and “were not at all surprised,” said a spokesperson of the family.
“This is a corrupt, lawless administration that seems determined to attack even its closest international ally,” said Radd Seiger.
“If Trump and Pompeo think it will end the deal, they have something else to come,” he added, saying the family would meet with the government to discuss their next steps.
Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, visited the White House in October to meet President Trump, whom they described as warm and welcoming, but they criticized the White House’s attempts to hold an instant meeting with Sacoolas, who was in a room next door with photographers.
The US State Department confirmed that it had rejected the request, claiming that Sacoolas had immunity from criminal jurisdiction during his stay in the United Kingdom.
“If the United States accepts the United Kingdom’s extradition request, it would make the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and create an extremely disturbing precedent,” he said in a statement.
The affair was a political headache for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has trade ties with Washington to offset the potential damage from Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Trump called the accident a “terrible accident,” saying it was common for Americans in Britain to have trouble driving on the left side of the road.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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