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Biden “sympathetic” to Harry Dunn case, says Johnson


The 19-year-old was killed in August 2019 (PA)

Joe Biden is “actively engaged” and “extremely sympathetic” to Harry Dunn’s case, Boris Johnson has said amid controversy over whether Anne Sacoolas should stand trial for the 19-year-old motorcyclist’s death.

The British Prime Minister and the US President discussed the teenager, who was killed when a car driving on the wrong side of the road crashed into his motorbike outside a military base in Northamptonshire in August 2019, before the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Ms Sacoolas, whose husband Jonathan Sacoolas worked as a technical assistant at the base, left the country a few weeks later after the Trump administration claimed diplomatic immunity on her behalf.

The 43-year-old was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December 2019, but the US State Department rejected the UK’s extradition request the following month.

The US position remained unchanged after the 2021 inauguration, with the Biden administration declaring that the US State Department’s decision not to extradite the teenager’s alleged murderer was “final” in January 2019. The British Foreign Office described this refusal as a “denial of justice”. .

Biden “sympathetic” to Harry Dunn case, says Johnson

Joe Biden and Boris Johnson in Carbis Bay (PA)

Although Mr Johnson said his US counterpart had a “sympathetic” view of the matter, when asked if there had been any developments in the affair, the Prime Minister said there were had “limits” to the actions Mr. Biden could take.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Johnson said the US president was “actively engaged in the matter”.

“As you know, he has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply about the issue. And he was extremely sympathetic, but it’s not something that either government can control very easily because there are legal processes that are still going on, ”he said.

Mr Biden’s first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi, died in a car crash in 1972.

The Prime Minister added that Mr. Biden “expressed a lot of sympathy, as besides this government continues to do it for the family of Harry Dunn”.

The Dunn family, who disputed Ms Sacoolas’ request for diplomatic immunity, said they were “grateful” to Mr Johnson for raising the case with the US president.

A spokesperson for the Dunn family told the PA News Agency: ‘Harry’s parents are very happy that the Prime Minister took the opportunity to raise the matter with President Biden at the premiere. occasion available.

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

“As all parties know, there is no greater force on earth than the love between a mother and her child. The family will continue to seek justice until this is done.”

The family’s challenge to Ms Sacoolas’ request for diplomatic immunity will be heard by the appeals court next year. The teenager’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, also filed a civil action against the suspect and her husband in the US state of Virginia.

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