Harry Dunn's alleged killer 'worked for US intelligence', court hears

3 February 2021, 22:41 | Updated: 4 February 2021, 08:17

Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside US military base RAF Croughton
Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside US military base RAF Croughton. Picture: PA

By Lindsey Alder

Harry Dunn's alleged killer was "employed by an intelligence agency in the US" - which was "especially a factor" in her departure from the UK, a court has heard.

The revelation in an American court has led to calls to re-investigate the diplomatic immunity given to the US citizen charged over the death.

On Thursday 27th August 2019 the 19-year-old was knocked off his motorbike and killed near American airbase RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

The suspect in that crash, Anne Sacoolas, remains in the United States claiming diplomatic immunity - despite his family campaigning for her to face the charges of causing his death by dangerous driving.

There continues to be calls for her to be brought to court but the US government are still refusing to extradite her.

A hearing in Virginia on Wednesday was over a civil claim for damages brought against Mrs Sacoolas by the Dunn family. However a number of revelations have led to possible developments in the criminal case.

The court in the Alexandria district heard suspect Anne Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan were employed by an intelligence agency in the United States.

The court heard this was "especially a factor" in the couple leaving the UK.

Sacoolas's defence barrister has said the alleged killer fears she will "not get a fair trial in the United Kingdom" should she return.

Asked by the judge why Anne Sacoolas had "fled" the United Kingdom, her barrister said he could not respond "completely candidly".

John McGavin told the court: "I know the answer but I cannot disclose it."

The court heard the decision to withdraw the Sacoolas family from the UK was for "issues of security".

The barrister acting on behalf of Harry Dunn's family has told the court a letter from the British Government has been submitted, endorsing their civil claim for damages against Anne Sacoolas.

Calling on the judge to deny the application to dismiss the civil claim, Agnieszka Fryszman said: "It is not quite as unusual as Mr McGavin would have you believe."

The judge said he would decide on the application ahead of a further hearing at the same court on February 17.

Reacting to the revelations from the court hearing, the Dunn family's spokesman Radd Seiger told LBC: "Given the admission in open court by Mrs Sacoolas's counsel that she was employed by US intelligence services at the time of the crash, the UK authorities must now urgently reinvestigate whether she had diplomatic immunity.

"They have to investigate given that employees had their immunity pre-waived under the 1995 RAF Croughton legal agreement."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK High Court has found that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity while in the country under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.“