Andrew Marr: The case of Anne Sacoolas shows the power of the United States

8 December 2022, 18:15

Tonight with Andrew Marr
Tonight with Andrew Marr. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou

The case of Anne Sacoolas shows the power of the United States, Andrew Marr has said.

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Opening LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the presenter addressed the sentencing of former US spy Anne Sacoolas, who killing teenager Harry Dunn in a crash while driving on the wrong side of road.

She was sentenced in her absence today to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months. She was also banned from driving for twelve months.

"Sometimes a human-scale, family-sized tragedy shines a sharp light on the reality of how the wider world works," Andrew said.

"That’s been so with the death of Harry Dunn, a 19-year old who was killed in August 2019 in Northamptonshire when his motorbike was hit by a car driven by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an American diplomat and herself a suspected former American spy.

"She admitted responsibility for causing death by careless driving.

"Today, in the High Court, Sacoolas was sentenced, in her absence, by video-link, to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months… so she’d only actually go to jail if she committed another offence.

"But behind this story is another one about power and the power in particular of the United States."

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Andrew Marr highlights the 'power' of the United States, after former US spy Anne Sacoolas avoids

Andrew continued: "Harry's family, and their neighbour and advisor Raad Seiger, had been discouraged by the police from taking Sacoolas to court for causing death by dangerous driving.

"Sacoolas’s employers, the US government - or one must assume the CIA - were able to claim diplomatic immunity, because of a loophole.

"She was more or less encouraged to skip off to the USA before she could be brought to justice here.

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"Encouraged, that is, by the British foreign office who the family feel were in some instances working against their own citizens in favour of the Americans.

"Why might that be? They claim the foreign secretary at the time, Dominic Raab, told them when they wanted him to press the Americans to extradite Sacoolas, 'What do you want me to do? Look at the size of them compared to the size of us'.

"Today it was revealed in court that the Americans didn’t want her to come to this country to face trial because it would have placed - quote 'significant US interests at risk'.

"I think we can guess what that might mean."