Nearly six months after the death of her 19-year-old son Harry, Charlotte Charles is pleading with President Trump to extradite the woman responsible for his death back to the United Kingdom.
Dunn died in August when an SUV driven by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an American diplomat, collided with his motorcycle. Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road but evaded charges by declaring diplomatic immunity and fleeing the UK.
“Do the right thing,” Charles urged President Trump in an emotional interview with Fox News. “You have no idea how much your heart can break until you lose a child. She needs to go back to the UK. President Trump is the one that can make that decision. End everyone’s misery and do the humane thing.”
In a statement to Fox News, Sacoolas’ attorney Amy Jeffress said Sacoolas remains “willing to work with the UK authorities to identify a path forward.”
“Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and would do anything she could to bring Harry back,” Jeffress added. “She continues to grieve for Harry and his family”
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British press has reported that Sacoolas and her husband are both U.S. spies, with the Daily Mail reporting Sacoolas is a CIA agent. Fox News could not confirm those claims.
“It doesn’t matter to me what her job role was or is or who she was married to or who she’s employed by,” said Charles, who added that Sacoolas has not reached out to her family. “She, unfortunately, took the life of our son. It doesn’t matter who you are. You face the justice system for that.”
The Crown Prince Prosecution Service charged Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving in December. The maximum sentence is 14 years’ imprisonment, although this is usually reserved for the most serious cases. Dunn’s family said before Sacoolas fled they had no intention of seeking prison time and were willing to negotiate, but now that decision is up to British prosecutors. “She would have been home by now,” Charles said.
The UK government officially submitted its extradition request in January. which was rejected by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying it would make diplomatic immunity a “practical nullity.” In fact, the State Department called the UK’s request “highly inappropriate.”
Dunn’s family argues by refusing to extradite Sacoolas to the UK, the U.S. is violating the extradition treaty signed by both nations and the Vienna Convention.
“I’m angry at the fact that the diplomatic immunity cloak is being wrapped around her,” Charles said. “I’m angry that it’s being used to protect her when diplomatic immunity is not there for that. It’s there to protect diplomats when they are in danger in countries that may not be as equal in their justice systems as the UK and the US are.”
Charles told Fox News she feels abandoned by both the U.S. and UK governments. Neither Prime Minister Boris Johnson nor Secretary of State Pompeo have personally reached out to the family.
“I’m disgusted,” she said. “Your government is meant to look after you and protect you and fight for you and at the moment, I don’t feel that that has happened.”
Across the pond, British Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab has been accused of misleading Dunn’s family and working in the interests of the U.S. government.
Raab has been accused of being more concerned with kowtowing to the Trump administration, rather than standing up for Dunn’s family. Last week, at the House of Commons, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, demanded Raab be fired. Charles said Raab has offered a fourth meeting with the family but she says she is reluctant to accept the invitation.
“We’re still without proof of what they are trying to do to help us,” Charles told Fox News. “And we’re getting to the point where we’re fed up with continuing to talk without any actions being put behind it.”
The latest direct plea to President Trump, comes after the family met with Trump at a last-minute meeting in October at the White House that the president said Johnson asked for. They were told Sacoolas was in the room next door and ready to meet with them. Charles declined, calling the ambush “not appropriate” and in retrospect she told Fox News, she thinks the meeting was meant to intimidate her into agreeing to drop her extradition request.
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“I didn’t feel intimidated at the time. On reflection, clearly he [Trump] was trying to put the pressure on to get us to do what he wanted,” Charles said. “He mentioned it not just once but three or four times. Tried to get us to realize that maybe the best thing to do would be to meet the “nice lady” as he put it.”
At the White House, Charles said she believed the president listened to her when she implored him to put himself in her shoes.
“He took my hand and I grasped his hand,” she said “and he said that he would try to look at it from a different angle.
Over the last couple of months both Trump and Pompeo have left the door open for a possible deal. In December, the president said they “we’re trying to work something out,” and in January Pompeo said they were trying to “do everything we can to put this in the best place.”
Recently, in New York City, Dunn’s family held a press conference alongside Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse accusers, to jointly suggest a swap may benefit both nations: Prince Andrew’s participation in the FBI’s Epstein investigation for the extradition of Sacoolas.
Both Pompeo and Raab have shot down the idea but Radd Sieger, a friend and spokesperson for the family, is more optimistic.
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“It would never be a straight swap,”Sieger said. “But what I am proposing is that people on both sides of the Atlantic come together and make sure that no matter who you are, if you commit crimes abroad or accused of committing crimes abroad, or you can help police investigations abroad and you get on the plane and do the right thing.”
Dunn’s family is now mulling a civil lawsuit in Virginia.
“We’re not going to go anywhere. This campaign will keep going. It’s a simple right from wrong, in our view. It’s not difficult,” Charles said. “She will go back to the UK. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us. We will make it our life’s work if we have to. It’s right from wrong. It’s as simple as that.”