Saturday, 12 Jun 2021

G7 summit: Boris Johnson raises Harry Dunn case with Joe Biden after crash victim’s mother says she’d welcome chance to meet US president

Boris Johnson has raised the case of fatal crash victim Harry Dunn with Joe Biden.

Confirming the case of Harry Dunn had been raised, a No 10 spokesman said: “The PM raised the tragic Harry Dunn case with President Biden and reiterated that the UK wants to see justice done for the family.”

Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles told Sky News earlier she’d “welcome the opportunity” to meet with Mr Biden herself to discuss the case while he’s in the UK for the G7 summit.

The UK prime minister, at the two leaders’ first face-to-face meeting, stressed again that the UK wants to see justice for the 19-year-old, who was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside a base in Northamptonshire in August 2019.

US intelligence agent Anne Sacoolas is alleged to have pulled out on to the wrong side of the road as she left RAF Croughton, a US air force listening station.

Sacoolas left the UK after claiming diplomatic immunity and the US has refused to return her to face justice.

In January last year, the 43-year-old was charged with causing Harry’s death by dangerous driving.

Before that, Harry’s mother secured a meeting with the then-president Donald Trump, who surprised her by telling her the suspect was at the White House and willing to meet her but Mrs Charles refused, saying she would only do so if any meeting happened in the UK.

“We didn’t have a great experience meeting President Trump,” Harry’s mother told Sky News.

“Sadly we had a nasty trick played on us and that’s left us with some pretty deep emotional scars, but I would definitely welcome the opportunity to meet with President Biden.”

“I’d take the opportunity to remind him the UK and the US are the strongest allies in the world and the US shouldn’t have treated the UK in this way at all,” she added.

“He’s still got the opportunity to put the wrong right. He’s still got the opportunity to make sure Anne Sacoolas stands trial in this country. We need that and we’d definitely welcome a meeting with him.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also previously highlighted the case with his US counterpart Antony Blinken.

The Dunn family said they were “very pleased” the case was raised at the “first available opportunity”.

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said: “Harry’s parents are very pleased to see that the PM has taken the opportunity to raise the case with President Biden at the first available opportunity.

“This rightly shows just how important this issue is and we are very grateful to the Prime Minister and his team for doing so.

“The family will continue to pursue justice until it is done.”

Mrs Charles earlier said she hoped that Mr Biden, who lost his first wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi in a crash in 1972, would be more sympathetic to their fight to bring Sacoolas before a British court.

The US president also lost his son Beau, 46, to brain cancer in 2015.

Mrs Charles said: “He’s got personal experience of a loss of a child, or two, in his case.

“And I would hope I would be able to draw on his personal experiences – to make him understand and see the reason why we, as a family, need closure.”

Harry’s mother continued: “We have had untold damage done to us with the way we have been treated and I would really urge him to dig deep and look back at some of the speeches he’s made.

“He talks openly about decency, [about] upholding the rule of law. That’s no different to this scenario we’re in. That’s exactly what should be happening – decency and upholding the rule of law, she shouldn’t have walked away.”

Harry’s family are currently pursuing Sacoolas in a civil case for damages in the US. During a hearing there, a lawyer for Sacoolas said she’d “fled” the UK due to issues of security.

In January, attorneys for Sacoolas said she was “willing to cooperate with the British authorities and to resolve this matter, but she is not returning to the United Kingdom”.

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