Harry Dunn’s alleged killer will NOT appear in court next week after her lawyers denied there was an agreement for her to appear via video
- Tuesday’s hearing has been postponed, Harry Dunn’s family spokesman said
- CPS said the hearing was vacated to allow for ‘ongoing’ discussion with suspect
- US citizen Anne Sacoolas charged with causing death by dangerous driving
- It follows that her lawyers say ‘no agreement’ has been reached to have her appear via video
Harry Dunn’s alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas, will not appear in court next week after her lawyers denied there was an arrangement to have her appear via video.
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court hearing on Tuesday has been vacated to allow for “ongoing” discussion with the US defendant, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
Radd Seiger, the spokesperson for the Dunn family, urged “quick justice and closure,” adding: “It’s vital to their mental health.”
Sacoolas is charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a fatal traffic accident outside the US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019.
The suspect had diplomatic immunity from the US government on behalf of her after the collision and was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident.
The announcement follows a statement last month in which the CPS said it “is committed to justice in this case” and that the case would be heard on Tuesday.
Immediately after the December statement, Sacoolas legal representatives said: “While we have always been willing to discuss a virtual hearing, there is no agreement at this time.”
Harry Dunn’s alleged killer will not appear in court next week. The Crown Prosecution Service said the hearing was adjourned to allow for “ongoing” discussion with the US suspect
US citizen Anne Sacoolas (pictured in Virginia) is charged with killing the teenage motorcyclist in a traffic accident outside the US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019
Mr Seiger said: “Harry Dunn’s family has just been informed that Tuesday’s 18 January hearing had to be postponed.”
A statement issued on their behalf read: ‘We have full confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service and will wait to hear from them with further developments, hopefully in the near future.
“Harry’s family was obviously looking forward to Tuesday’s hearing, so they hope an agreement can be reached soon.
“It is vital for their mental health that justice and closure comes quickly.”
A CPS spokesman said: ‘After consultations between the parties, the hearing in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 18 has been vacated.
“This is intended to continue the ongoing discussions between the CPS and Anne Sacoolas’ legal representatives.
“Mrs. Sacoolas has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there is no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online that could in any way harm the proceedings.”
An extradition request for Sacoolas was filed by the Department of the Interior after she was charged with death by dangerous driving, but it was rejected by the US State Department in January 2020.
In a statement, the Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger urged “quick justice and closure,” adding: “It is vital for their [the family’s] mental health’
Mr. Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, pictured above. A statement issued on their behalf read: ‘We have full confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service and will wait to hear from them with further developments, hopefully in the near future’
The Dunn family was then told that while no criminal proceedings could take place in the US, they could file a civil claim for damages against Sacoolas, as her immunity was no longer valid when she returned to her home country.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan tried to dispose of the case as it should be heard in the UK.
Judge Thomas Ellis rejected Sacoolas’ submissions that the UK was an ‘easier’ forum and kept the case in Virginia, describing the motion as ‘unwarranted’.
Harry’s parents then flew to the US to testify under oath as part of the “discovery process.”