UK issues extradition request for American woman charged in death of British teen

British prosecutors have requested that the United States extradite the wife of an American diplomat accused of killing a teenager in a wrong-way collision last year.

Anne Sacoolas left the United Kingdom three weeks after the Aug. 27 collision that killed 19-year-old Briton Harry Dunn. The teen died after a car struck his motorcycle near RAF Croughton, a British military base that’s home to a signals intelligence station operated by the U.S. Air Force.

Sacoolas is the wife of Jonathan Sacoolas, who worked at the base. She was driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision.

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"Following the Crown Prosecution Service’s charging decision, the Home Office has sent an extradition request to the United States for Anne Sacoolas on charges of causing death by dangerous driving,” a Home Office spokesman said in a statement.

“This is now a decision for the U.S. authorities," the spokesman added.

 Anne Sacoolas

 Anne Sacoolas (Facebook)

In response to the request, the State Department said Friday that extraditing Sacoolas would constitute an "abuse."

"The United States has been clear that, at the time the accident occurred, and for the duration of her stay in the UK, the driver in this case had status that conferred diplomatic immunities," the agency said in a statement. "The use of an extradition treaty to attempt to return the spouse of a former diplomat by force would establish an extraordinarily troubling precedent."

It said the U.S. continued to engage with the British government "to look at options for moving forward."

Sacoolas' lawyer, Amy Jeffress, said, "The U.S. government has made clear they will deny any extrication request and will uphold the longstanding agreement of diplomatic immunity between our two countries."

"Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and would do anything to bring Harry back," she added. "We remain willing to work with the U.K. authorities to identify a path forward."

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Harry Dunn, 19, was killed in the United Kingdom when his motorcycle was struck by a car near a military base last summer. 

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed in the United Kingdom when his motorcycle was struck by a car near a military base last summer.  (Facebook)

Last month, Jeffress said her client would not voluntarily return to the United Kingdom to face a potentially long prison sentence "for what was a terrible but unintentional accident."

Dunn's mother and stepfather met with President Trump at the White House in October. During the meeting, Trump offered to have them meet with Sacoolas, who was in the next room.

British lawmaker Andrea Leadsom wrote Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday asking him to meet with the Dunn family to discuss the case.

"I have met with Harry's parents a number of times and they are understandably finding it extremely difficult to start to grieve for their son fully until there is some closure in the case," Leadsom wrote.

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Johnson has said Sacoolas was wrong to use diplomatic immunity for "this type of purpose" and urged Trump " to reconsider the U.S. position so the individual involved can return to the U.K., cooperate with police and allow Harry's family to receive justice."

Under international law, diplomats and their families can avoid prosecution for crimes committed in a foreign country unless the diplomat's home country waives their diplomatic immunity. Diplomats and their families based at the Croughton base are entitled to the protection based on an agreement between the American and British governments.