Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has formally charged the wife of a US intelligence officer with “causing death by dangerous driving.” Anne Sacoolas, whose husband worked for a US Air Force signals intelligence unit at RAF Croughton until September, was driving on the wrong side of an English road on August 27 when she collided with a motorbike ridden by 19-year-old Harry Dunn, killing him.
The incident has become a sore point in the UK. While Sacoolas’s husband has diplomatic status under a joint US-UK agreement about intelligence staff posted in each other’s countries, there’s widespread anger that this status — intended to protect secret intelligence work from exposure — is being used to evade responsibility for carelessly killing someone. The State Department says Sacoolas shares her husband’s diplomatic immunity; the British government says she doesn’t.
Now the CPS has formally requested Sacoolas’s extradition to the UK to face charges that could put her in a British prison for up to 14 years. The State Department said it was “disappointed” with the decision and does not believe that charging Sacoolas — who admits killing Dunn while driving on the wrong side — is a “helpful development.” However, Radd Seiger, a spokesman for Dunn’s family, says the dead teen’s relatives are relieved the indictment has been made and are committed to seeing Sacoolas face a fair trial.
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