President Biden insists a criminal case over the death of Harry Dunn is ‘being worked on’, after the tragic teenager’s family settled in their civil court battle with the US spy wanted for killing him.
Sat next to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office, the US president told reporters the case against Anne Sacoolas was progressing.
‘I was under the impression there had been a civil settlement reached, but I don’t know that, based on what I’ve been told it was not an intentional act.
‘It was someone who’s new… driving down the wrong side of the road, quote unquote. But I will follow up on that.’
Mr Johnson said that Joe Biden has been ‘personally trying to move things along’ in the Anne Sacoolas case.
The Prime Minister said: ‘I know that the president has been personally trying to move things along, and I’m grateful for that.’
Sat next to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office, the US president told reporters the case against Anne Sacoolas was progressing
The 19-year-old was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019
It comes after Harry’s parents reached a ‘resolution’ on Tuesday in their US damages claim against his alleged killer.
Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan, both reported to be former CIA agents, were due to give evidence under oath as part of the civil case.
The claim, being heard in the state of Virginia, had unearthed material surrounding their secretive State Department roles. But yesterday’s agreement, for an undisclosed fee, has prevented further disclosure – fuelling speculation that the US government might have intervened.
Radd Seiger, the Dunn family’s spokesman, said the deal meant their attention would turn to the criminal case in the UK. He called the agreement a ‘real milestone’ but said there was ‘much work left to be done’ to secure justice for Harry.
Sacoolas has been charged with causing the 19-year-old’s death by dangerous driving following the fatal crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019.
Her car was allegedly turning out of the base, where her husband worked as a US intelligence officer, when it struck Harry’s motorcycle.
She was able to leave the UK after the Trump administration underwrote her diplomatic immunity.
The couple’s status in the UK was the subject of a fierce diplomatic row when Washington refused Britain’s demands to extradite Sacoolas to the UK to face justice.
As part of the civil damages claim, the Virginia court heard the pair left the UK for ‘security reasons’ and that their intelligence roles were a factor in their departure.
The financial settlement has caused suspicions that the US government may have intervened to prevent the release of further revelations about the couple’s roles.
Sacoolas has been charged with causing the 19-year-old’s death by dangerous driving following the fatal crash
Mr Seiger said: ‘We have been made aware that the US government made no secret of their displeasure at the British Government’s backing of Harry’s family in bringing the claim.’
The lawyer would not declare how much the Dunn family was paid, nor whether the US government had made a contribution. Sacoolas’s lawyers had previously offered to pay some degree of compensation.
Her lawyer John McGavin made the offer in US court documents but stated that it must be ‘limited to funeral expenses’. He added that there was ‘no plausible civil claim for dependency damages’.
Mr Seiger, commenting on the agreement yesterday, said: ‘It has come as some considerable relief to them that a resolution to the civil claim has been now been reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them.’
He said the mental health of Harry’s parents was at an ‘all time low’, adding: ‘The family feel they can now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long-awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case.’
Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas have been approached for comment.