Civil claim resolution ‘absolutely not’ end of Harry Dunn matter, Liz Truss says

·3-min read
Charlotte Charles (left) and Tim Dunn, the parents of Harry Dunn arrive at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport, London, before departing on a flight to the US to give evidence under oath as part of a damages claim against their son???s alleged killer. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (PA Wire)
Charlotte Charles (left) and Tim Dunn, the parents of Harry Dunn arrive at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport, London, before departing on a flight to the US to give evidence under oath as part of a damages claim against their son???s alleged killer. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (PA Wire)

The Foreign Secretary has vowed to continue the fight to get Harry Dunn’s alleged killer to return to the UK to face “justice” after his family reached a resolution in a civil claim in the US.

The parents of the teenage motorcyclist, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn and US suspect Anne Sacoolas, reached an agreement in the damages claim on Tuesday.

The Dunn family’s spokesman Radd Seiger told the PA news agency a resolution had been “reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them”.

Sacoolas, who is charged with causing 19-year-old Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving, was due to give evidence under oath last month as part of the damages claim until a last-minute postponement.

The 44-year-old was able to leave the UK following the fatal road crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 2019, after diplomatic immunity was asserted on her behalf by the US Government.

Liz Truss told reporters an agreement in the damages claim was “absolutely not” the end of the matter.

Speaking on the train to Washington where she will meet with Joe Biden, Mrs Truss was asked if the resolution of a civil case in the UK was the end of the road for the British effort for Sacoolas’s return.

Harry Dunn was killed in a road crash in August 2019 (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)
Harry Dunn was killed in a road crash in August 2019 (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

“Absolutely not. We continue to press for justice for Harry,” she said.

The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but Mr Seiger said a resolution in the civil claim means Mr Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, will now turn their focus to the pending criminal case.

Confirming a resolution had been reached in the damages claim, he told PA: “It has come as some considerable relief to them that a resolution to the civil claim has been now been reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them.

“It is never easy mounting a legal battle for justice abroad, let alone in the US, but the family’s courage and determination to see this through has been incredible.

“They have been supported throughout the claim by (Foreign Secretary) Dominic Raab and his excellent officials at the FCDO and we are very grateful to them for all their help.

“We have been made aware that the US Government made no secret of their displeasure at the British Government’s backing of Harry’s family in bringing the claim.”

The Foreign Secretary said she had raised the case of Mr Dunn with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Having taken over the role in the Cabinet reshuffle last week, Mrs Truss told reporters on the Amtrak train she would take a “hard-headed” approach on the world stage.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said a resolution in the civil claim was “absolutely not” the end of the matter (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said a resolution in the civil claim was “absolutely not” the end of the matter (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

“I’ve also spoken with Harry Dunn’s mother and I’ve raised that issue with the US Secretary of State as well,” she said.

“Harry must get the justice he deserves.”

The damages claim, brought against Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan, unearthed a great deal of previously unheard material, such as the State Department roles held by the couple at the time of the crash.

Alexandria District Court in the US state of Virginia heard the pair’s work in intelligence was a “factor” in their departure from the UK, as they left for “security reasons”.

Mr Seiger continued: “The family feel they can now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case.

“There will also need to be a parliamentary inquiry into this scandal in due course.

“Harry’s family will never be able to move on from his loss, but they are more determined than ever to continue to move forward.

“This is a pivotal point in the campaign, a real milestone.

“But there is much work left to be done before justice for Harry can be said to be done.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas have been approached for comment.

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