UK Politics

Dunn family ‘hopeful’ as attorney general considers virtual trial of alleged killer

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Harry Dunn's family say they feel "hopeful" after learning the attorney general is considering a virtual trial for his alleged killer or trying her in her absence.

Mr Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike was in a collision with a car, allegedly driven by Anne Sacoolas, outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on 27 August 2019.

Mrs Sacoolas, who is the wife of a US intelligence officer, left the UK and claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country – sparking an international controversy.

Harry Dunn's mother: 'Sacoolas needs to face UK justice'

Andrea Leadsom, the Dunn family's MP, wrote to government ministers on 10 August this year asking for them to consider the possibility of Mrs Sacoolas standing trial while she was still in America.

Responding to the request, Robert Buckland QC said "holding a trial virtually or in absentia are… being considered" by attorney general Suella Braverman QC.

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Speaking to Sky News, Mr Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, said the family was "hopeful" about the prospect of a virtual trial.

She said it is "certainly something we wouldn't object to" as long as it is in the UK justice system.

More from Anne Sacoolas

"We realise it's unprecedented if indeed it does go ahead. The UK justice system is something that Anne Sacoolas needs to face," she said.

"Myself and my family need closure. We will continue to work really hard until we get it".

A black car is seen being recovered after the crash
Image: A black car is seen being recovered after the crash in August 2019

Ms Charles added that a British-led virtual trial "would be the best possible outcome for us other than her being on UK soil".

In a letter to Mrs Leadsom, Mr Buckland said: "I quite understand how important it must be to Harry's family, as the anniversary of his death approaches, to achieve some sort of closure.

"The suggestions you put forward for resolving the impasse by holding a trial virtually or in absentia are as you know being considered by the attorney general, and she will respond as decisions about criminal proceedings in individual cases are a matter for her and the director of public prosecutions.

"My officials stand ready, however, to assist in any way they can."

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As the one-year anniversary of Mr Dunn's death approaches on Thursday, Ms Charles said it would just be "another day of battlingRead More – Source