The family of Harry Dunn have welcomed the news police intend to travel to the US to interview the intelligence officer’s wife involved in his death, but say “good luck finding her”.
Anne Sacoolas was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit 19-year-old Harry’s motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.
After being told she had diplomatic immunity from prosecution, Mrs Sacoolas left the UK on a US air force plane on September 15 without ever giving an account to police.
The Dunn family say they have been fed “one lie after another” by the British and US governments and Northamptonshire Police and have taken their fight for justice all the way to the White House.
Now, the family have revealed Northamptonshire Police have passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision, and that officers plan to travel to the US to interview the suspect.
Speaking to the Today programme on Tuesday, Harry’s father Tim Dunn said: “Obviously that’s good progress if [Northamptonshire Police] feel they can interview [Mrs Sacoolas] – good luck trying to find her.
“That’s got to be good news if the police are trying to interview her and hopefully they’ll get her to come back.”
Mr Dunn and Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles are due to meet with shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry on Tuesday afternoon, who is expected to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the teenager’s death.
Tonight in the House, I asked a series of detailed questions over the case of young Harry Dunn and the immunity given to the US diplomat's wife who killed him. And I will keep asking those questions until Harry's family get the answers, truth and justice they deserve. pic.twitter.com/1smz538oag
— Emily Thornberry (@EmilyThornberry) October 21, 2019
Family spokesman Radd Seiger said on Twitter: “Yesterday the family were told the police had passed their file to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) yet tonight were informed that the police were travelling to the USA to interview Mrs Sacoolas.”
But he added: “Those two statements appear to be contradictory on the face of it, further compounding the family’s misery.”
Ordinarily police are no longer allowed to interview a suspect once the CPS has authorised the charging of that person.
Harry’s parents have cancelled a meeting set for Wednesday afternoon with Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police after it became clear his intention was not to answer “a series of key questions” the family had prepared, Mr Seiger said.
The PA news agency was told the force’s chief contacted the family to “provide clarity” that the meeting would only be a “private and personal visit to express condolences”.
Announcing the decision to cancel the meeting on Twitter, Mr Seiger said: “The time for condolences has long since passed and the answers to the many questions about Anne Sacoolas’s departure and next steps are long overdue!”
1/2. I am aware of the emotion and anxiety surrounding the tragic death of Harry Dunn. At all times Northamptonshire Police has acted with the upmost integrity and transparency and I have taken personal oversight of this investigation supported by Superintendent Sarah Johnson. https://t.co/wv2H7GdU0l
— Nick Adderley (@NorthantsChief) October 21, 2019
Mr Adderley tweeted: “I am aware of the emotion and anxiety surrounding the tragic death of Harry Dunn.
“At all times Northamptonshire Police has acted with the upmost integrity and transparency and I have taken personal oversight of this investigation supported by Superintendent Sarah Johnson.”
He added: “There are many questions being asked of the police which would be wholly inappropriate to speculate on in order to maintain impartiality and to allow the investigating officers and Crown Prosecution Service to do their job.”
On Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the Commons he had commissioned a review into immunity arrangements for US personnel and their families at the RAF Croughton annex in light of the case.
Mr Raab said there are “no barriers to justice being done” for Harry.
He also said the UK Government believes diplomatic immunity “clearly ended” for Mrs Sacoolas, 42, when she left the country for America shortly after the crash.
He added it would be for the CPS and police to decide what steps to take, telling MPs he is “not aware of any obstacle” under the UK/US Extradition Treaty.
Mrs Charles and Mr Dunn travelled to the US last week in an attempt to put pressure on authorities to return Mrs Sacoolas to the UK.
The visit included talks at the White House with President Donald Trump, during which the family was told that Mr Dunn’s alleged killer was in a nearby room and prepared to meet them.
They refused, insisting such an encounter take place in Britain.