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American diplomat’s wife to be charged in fatal UK crash

The wife of a U.S. diplomat will be charged in the United Kingdom over a fatal wrong-way crash, the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement on Friday. 

British police have said that Harry Dunn was killed after his motorcycle was hit by Anne Sacoolas’s car. Sacoolas later returned to the U.S., claiming diplomatic immunity. 

She will be charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

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CPS said that it has started extradition proceedings, but that it will be up to the country’s Home Office to consider whether to formally issue this through U.S. diplomatic channels. 

Chief Crown Prosecutor Janine Smith said in a statement that the director of public prosecutions has met with Dunn’s family to explain its decision.

“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Anne Sacoolas are now active and that she has a right to a fair trial,” Smith said.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill in an email that the department was disappointed by the announcement and that it does not believe that the decision to charge Sacoolas is helpful.

The spokesperson added that the U.S. has been clear that the driver had status that gave her diplomatic immunity.

“It is the position of the United States government that a request to extradite an individual under these circumstances would be an egregious abuse,” the spokesperson said. “The use of an extradition treaty to attempt to return the spouse of a former diplomat by force would establish an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for Sacoolas to return to the U.K. and face legal action, and said he would bring up the matter with the U.S. ambassador and possibly the White House.

Dunn’s parents have also expressed intention to sue the Trump administration for “lawless misconduct.”

They have claimed they were lured to the White House “under a pretense only to be ambushed by the administration who tried to engineer a grotesque meeting” between them and Sacoolas.

A statement issued on behalf of Sacoolas earlier this year said that she was “devastated by this tragic accident.”

Sacoolas’s husband, Jonathan Sacoolas, had worked as an intelligence officer at the Royal Air Force’s Croughton base, according to the BBC.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.

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