Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the UK is powerless to force the US to extradite the suspected killer of Harry Dunn as the teenager’s mother made an emotional plea for Government support.
The 19-year-old motorcyclist’s mother Charlotte Charles has appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Raab to make her son’s case “top priority” during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to London on Monday.
Ms Charles told of her “beyond excruciating” ordeal and feeling abandoned, saying: “It’s so important to feel supported by your own Government and unfortunately we just haven’t had that but it’s never too late. So just help us.”
Mr Dunn died when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
Suspect Anne Sacoolas, 43, the wife of a US intelligence official and a reported CIA operative, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.
Mr Raab told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “It’s heartbreaking, I understand how agonising it’s been, I understand how exhausted they are with this.
“There’s a denial of justice here.
“There’s an extradition request that’s outstanding, we’ve called on Anne Sacoolas to return and our American partners to facilitate that.
“But there’s no measures that we could I think credibly, realistically take which is somehow going to force the US or indeed Anne Sacoolas to comply with this.
“I want to be realistic because I don’t want to raise expectations which are then going to be dashed.”
He added: “I’ve raised it, we’ve raised it in Washington, the Prime Minister has raised it with President Trump and we will continue to make clear we’re on the side of the family here, we think that she should return, she must return home, so that justice can be done.”
Washington and London have been locked in a diplomatic row over Mr Dunn’s death, with an extradition request submitted by the Home Office rejected by Mr Pompeo in January, a decision the State Department has said is “final”.
In a video statement, Ms Charles 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.”
She said the anniversary of her son’s death next month will be “beyond painful”, and said she would not wish her anguish on her worst enemy.
On Sky News, Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger added: “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.”