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Wife of American diplomat charged in death of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

British authorities announced Friday the wife of an American diplomat will be charged in connection with the death of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn.

Chief Crown Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service Janine Smith said in a statement that Anne Sacoolas, an American, will be charged with “causing death by dangerous driving.”

“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. “It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Smith said authorities had also met with Dunn’s family to inform them of proceedings. Video from British broadcaster Sky News shows the family tearfully embracing each other as they learn the news.

“I carried out my promise to one of my kids, the promise that I made that we would get that justice,” Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles says in the video.

The case had attracted attention from both British and American politicians, including President Donald Trump.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Friday he welcomed the decision, calling it “an important step towards justice for Harry and towards solace for his family.”

“I hope that Anne Sacoolas will now realise the right thing to do is to come back to the UK and cooperate with the criminal justice process,” Raab added.

Sacoolas, 42, was allegedly behind the wheel of a vehicle that fatally struck Dunn, 19, as he was riding his motorcycle near RAF Croughton, a military base in Northamptonshire, England, on Aug. 27.

Sacoolas returned to the United States following the crash, claiming diplomatic immunity, and has resisted calls from Dunn’s family and British politicians for her to return to the U.K.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had called for Sacoolas to “return to the U.K., cooperate with police and allow Harry’s family to receive justice.”

The Crown Prosecution Service has started extradition proceedings against Sacoolas.

In October, Dunn’s parents met with Trump in Washington, where he surprised them with an offer of a meeting with Sacoolas to resolve the dispute.

They declined the offer, however, and Charlotte Charles said she and her husband were “shocked” by the offer and declined the meeting.

Trump has expressed sympathy for Sacoolas, saying she was apparently confused because the British drive on the left-hand side of the road.

“It happens to a lot of people,” he said.


© 2019 USA Today