The mother of motorcyclist Harry Dunn has urged the Prime Minister to make her son ‘top priority’ during the US Secretary of State’s visit to the UK next week.
Charlotte Charles called on Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Mike Pompeo to discuss her son’s case nearly one year on from his death outside a U.S. military base in Northamptonshire.
In an emotional video statement, she said: ‘Mr Raab, Mr Pompeo, Mr Johnson, when you get together next week with all of your families fully intact whilst mine is in complete tatters and my family has been ripped apart, can you please, please discuss Harry?
‘We’ve been assured he’s high on your list of priorities to discuss amongst all of the other important global issues that you have surrounding you but please, please make him top priority.’
In an emotional plea Charlotte Charles urged the Prime Minister to make her son ‘top priority’
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year
The heartbroken mother continued: ‘It’s been nearly a year, please don’t let this roll into a second year. We’ve got his anniversary coming up which is going to be beyond painful for us.
‘We don’t want a repeat of the last 11 months. It has been horrific. You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.
‘I don’t want to relive any of it ever again and I certainly don’t want to go into a second year of having to face some of what I’ve faced in the last 11 months since Harry’s loss.
‘It’s just about doing the right thing. It always has been, it always will be. Don’t worry about setting a precedent of sending someone back that’s supposedly got this diplomatic immunity.
‘We’ve always agreed immunity does need to be in place for certain circumstances. This isn’t one of them.
‘Please send her back. Bring Anne Sacoolas back to the UK, face the justice system. She can go home, do whatever afterwards, whatever has been handed back to her. That part of it is of no concern for me.
‘My concern is to make sure justice is brought and that Harry’s life is actually thought of and considered.’
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge today Ms Charles later described the last 11 months as ‘beyond excruciating’ and said she was ‘very much determined to get that justice’.
She said: ‘I don’t even know where we would even try to begin. Beyond excruciating every single day. We have to wake up every morning knowing that Harry isn’t with us and we have to try to live with that.
‘You dream about him at night time and you wake up and you feel angry and bitter that we’ve been left with out family in complete tatters and in ruin and still don’t have justice for him. We’re tired. Still very much determined to get that justice.
‘The determination is still extremely strong but we’re tired and we need the UK to work really hard with the U.S. government now and bring a closure to this. Bring her back and get that justice and do not allow us and force us to go into a second year of fighting.’
The mother of Harry Dunn called on the Prime Minister to discuss her son’s case during the Mike Pompeo’s visit to the UK next week
Anne Sacoolas, 43, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, was able to return to her home country following Mr Dunn’s death
Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn have continued to call on the government to bring Ms Sacoolas back to the UK
Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said: ‘What we want now, and I’ve asked this of Mr Raab several times, is a very clear timetabled structured plan to bring Anne Sacoolas back.
‘It is no longer any good … that they raise it continually. That means nothing to the family.
Timeline of events following Harry Dunn’s death
27 August 2019: Harry Dunn, 19, killed while riding his motorcycle near Croughton, Northamptonshire near the exit to RAF Croughton, when it collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction
28 August 2019: Suspect Anne Sacoolas is interviewed by police. Northamptonshire police request a diplomatic immunity waver
16 September 2019: Foreign office informs police that the waiver had been declined and that Sacoolas had left the UK on a US Air Force aircraft
15 October 2019: Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn take their campaign for justice to the US where they meet with President Trump at the White House. They refuse meet the suspect, who was waiting in a room next door
31 October 2019: Northamptonshire police interview Sacoolas in the US after requesting permission to do so
25 November 2019: Dunn’s parents submit a judicial review of the Foreign Secretary’s actions over the extension of diplomatic immunity to intelligence staff and families at RAF Croughton
20 December 2019: Crown Prosecution Service announces that Sacoolas to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving and that it was starting extradition proceedings against her
10 January: Home Office formally requests the extradition of Sacoolas to face charges in the United Kingdom
23 January: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally rejects request for extradition
28 April: Charlotte and Tim write a letter to the US Government, urging it to change its mind on the diplomatic immunity granted to Sacoolas
11 May: An Interpol Red Notice is issued for Sacoolas’ arrest
‘She needs to come back. Actions have consequences. This is one of the most egregious abuses of human rights America has ever committed on a British citizen, a British family. Where is the special relationship?
‘We need a clear specific plan. If the US are not going to send her back what is the UK going to do with specificity to make sure this terrible wrong is righted?
‘This is the United Kingdom’s opportunity, Mr Raab’s opportunity, to show the nation that he is going to fulfil his first duty, which is to safeguard and protect the lives of UK citizens. He needs to stand up to the US now.’
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
Anne Sacoolas, 43, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country.
She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December but an extradition request submitted by the Home Office was rejected by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January – a move the State Department has since described as ‘final’.
An extradition request submitted by the Home Office for her was rejected by Mr Pompeo in January – a decision the State Department has said is ‘final’.
Last month Mr Dunn’s parents lost a High Court battle to force the Foreign Office to reveal documents relating to the ‘secret immunity’ US-UK agreement deal agreed in 1995 which allowed Ms Sacoolas to leave the country following the teenager’s death.
Following a preliminary hearing conducted remotely by video call, Lord Justice Flaux and Mr Justice Saini rejected the application for the Foreign Office to disclose further evidence ahead of a full hearing.
The secret agreement was originally made between the UK and the US in 1995 and updated in 2001
In a so-called ‘Exchange of Notes’, an agreement was made over immunity for administrative and technical staff at RAF Croughton.
But another document disclosed by the Foreign Office (FCO) – a briefing note sent to Sir Tony Baldry, then a junior FCO minister, in May 1995 – concerns were raised that ‘an accident involving the claim of immunity could make the local if not national headlines’.
Sir Tony said in a witness statement for the High Court case that he believed FCO lawyers at the time would not have ‘created a situation whereby immunity was waived for agents outside work, but not for their spouses’.
In his statement about the immunity granted to staff at RAF Croughton, Sir Tony said: ‘We were obviously extremely unhappy at the prospect of technicians and their dependants being placed above the law, and this I made clear by instructing that any agreement must be conditional upon the waiver’
‘I am sure that the US did not and would not have raised any specific request for dependants to be exempted from the law – had they done so I would have refused or at the very least referred this matter to the Secretary of State for him to decide.
‘I cannot imagine any government agreeing to such an arrangement.’