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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Harry Dunn petition gets 236,000 signatures

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 10:33 AM

click to enlarge Harry Dunn died after a vehicle driven by the wife of an American diplomat collided with his motorcycle, according to UK police. - COURTESY OF AMERICANS FOR JUSTICE 4 HARRY
  • Courtesy of Americans for Justice 4 Harry
  • Harry Dunn died after a vehicle driven by the wife of an American diplomat collided with his motorcycle, according to UK police.

This January, the Independent covered Misty Morris' campaign for the extradition of the wife of an American diplomat, who was charged by British prosecutors in the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn.

Morris, a self-described stay-at-home-mom from Salida, also launched a petition on change.org about two weeks ago. It had more than 236,000 signatures as of Jan. 28.

Anne Sacoolas, the American driver who UK police said had collided with Dunn outside a Royal Air Force base in central England, claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid going to trial — even though British prosecutors said she had been driving on the wrong side of the road.

According to media reports, Sacoolas returned to the U.S. about three weeks after Dunn’s death. She was charged with dangerous driving by the Crown Prosecution Service, which conducts criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, in December. Dunn’s parents have appeared frequently on British news to demand that Sacoolas face trial.

"We, the American people, the citizens of the United Kingdom and people from around the world implore the United States Government to return Anne Sacoolas to the UK to face the charges against her if she will not willingly return herself," the petition reads.

On Jan. 23, the U.S. formally turned down British prosecutors' request to send Sacoolas overseas.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department said the extradition “would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent,” the New York Times reports.

But the family of Harry Dunn appeared nonetheless hopeful that an arrangement could be reached to bring Sacoolas to trial.

Radd Seiger, the family's spokesperson, said in a statement posted on Facebook that he and Dunn's parents met with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Jan. 27.

"We discussed a range of issues, the return of Anne Sacoolas and ensuring that this never happens to another family again chief among them," Seiger wrote of the meeting. "We have been left in no doubt that Mr Raab is on the same page as we are and we could see the anger in his eyes. He is as determined as we are to ensure that both of these objectives are achieved."

"The U.K. authorities are currently considering a range of options to ensure Justice4Harry but it will take some time for this work to be done given the unprecedented nature of the situation," Seiger continued.

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