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EXTRADITION REQUEST MADE FOR SACOOLAS

By Pete Moore On January 11th, 2020

I’m surprised this went in. I was pretty sure the government would drag its heels for years.

The United States has criticised the UK’s request to extradite an American accused of killing motorcyclist Harry Dunn, calling it “highly inappropriate”.

Mr Dunn, 19, died after being hit by a car allegedly driven by suspect Anne Sacoolas, who left the country for the US claiming diplomatic immunity.

The Home Office submitted a request on Friday to extradite her to the UK […]

A spokeswoman for the US State Department said: “It is the position of the United States government that a request to extradite an individual under these circumstances would be an abuse.

“The use of an extradition treaty to attempt to return the spouse of a former diplomat by force would establish an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”

It’s “highly inappropriate” to drive on the wrong side of the road and to flee the country after promising to stay. It’s also “highly inappropriate” to describe CIA officers as diplomats and to confer diplomatic immunity on their spouses.

93 Responses to “EXTRADITION REQUEST MADE FOR SACOOLAS”

  1. Should the government be wasting time attempting an extradition that almost certainly will never happen.

  2. This is one issue where we’re in complete alignment Pete.

    They should at the very least make the effort Colm?

  3. “It’s also “highly inappropriate” to describe CIA officers as diplomats and to confer diplomatic immunity on their spouses.”

    I’m not sure it is highly inappropriate. Or certainly not unusual. Most intelligence services will have people operating in their diplomatic service. It would be almost certain that MI5 will have people all over the world operating out of the embassy and consulate services there.

    In reality Sacoolas almost certainly had diplomatic immunity. The response of the US, given the relationship between the two countries, should have been to formally waive that immunity. That the US didn’t do so means that an extradition request for Sacoolas would be wrong.

  4. This is grandstanding on the part of the British government For the benefit of the tabloids and the mob.

    Driving on the wrong side of the road is of course dangerous driving. But there is zero evidence that it was intentional Recklessness .It was a mistake. Criminalizing mistakes is an abuse of power by the police and the government and is to be condemned

    Everybody who has ever driven a car has made a significant driving error. Errors are not criminally prosecuted in a civilized country

    There are large numbers of British and Irish tourists who rent cars in the United States. Some of them get into accidents, and some of those Involve drivers who accidentally drove by the wrong side of the road. I have never heard of any such cases being criminally prosecuted

  5. “I have never heard of any such cases being criminally prosecuted”

    You and Mahons questioned applying UK (or Irish) standards of law to Cyrpus early on this week. Don’t apply America’s (piss-poor) standards to this. The law in the UK is clear. Driving without due care and attention is a criminal offence. Causing death by driving without due care and attention an even more serious one. Driving the wrong way down a road would be careless, and maybe even dangerous, driving. This is a criminal offence. If Ms Sacoolas was a British person who did this she would be prosecuted.

  6. Seamus –

    They have all that, but to continue to describe him as a diplomat is obtuse.

    Phantom –

    No charges have been brought but her attendance is required for a thorough investigation to be concluded.

    Yes, I’ve switched off while driving on the Continent and driven on the left. I even went the wrong way round a roundabout in Spain. V’s were liberally flicked at protesting drivers, as is my right too. But if I had killed someone I would have been investigated at the very least.

    Are you saying that American police officers attend fatal car crashes and simply shrug their shoulders at the driving errors?

  7. Errors are not criminally prosecuted in a civilized country

    Absolutely they are. That’s why at the very least the charge of driving without due care & attention exists.

  8. No one is shrugging their shoulders at this death Of the young man who was not doing anything wrong

    The possibility of Criminalization of errors is something that should shock the conscience of any decent person

    The terrible outcome Does not change the fact that this was by all evidence an error. If she had not hit anyone, her action would’ve been the same. She was not joy riding, she did not choose to drive drunk, She was not speeding to make the light

    If driving errors are to be seen as criminal offenses, then every one who has ever driven a car should be put in prison. Any driver who claims that they’ve never made a serious error is a liar

    British law, customs,policing, and prosecution on this matter is a complete disgrace.

    Because if errors are crimes, put the whole world in jail Including the bony fingered mob who is howling about this awful case

  9. Paul

    No you are completely wrong

    Choosing to speed, choosing Not to maintain your vehicle properly and driving it anyway Is what that is getting at

    I am speaking of true error

    Error is something that every driver has done at some point, As well as every doctor, every pharmacist, every engineer, every lawyer Has in common they’ve all made errors

    So if you want to prosecute one, you should say prosecute them all

    Put the whole world in jail, Because every driver, especially young drivers, have made errors

  10. Our actions are as important or trivial as the consequences they cause. So if she had not hit anyone her action would not have been the same. In the same way had she been drunk and hit someone it is different than if she had been drunk and not hit someone.

    She drove without due care and attention, and in doing so killed someone.

  11. Phantom –

    It is outcome based, not error based.

    If the error amounts to driving without due care and attention then it is criminal, but an investigation must first be concluded.

    Is life so cheap in the US that you all just shrug at fatal road traffic accidents?

  12. Phantom

    The point of a lawful investigation is to decide if the behaviour was a genuine error rather than unjustified recklessness. She left the country before the investigation was concluded. Are we to assume that the American system is to simply accept without further ado when a driver says “Oops I made a mistake “ “ That’s OK ma’am try not to kill anyone else now, have a nice day “

  13. Choosing to speed, choosing Not to maintain your vehicle properly and driving it anyway Is what that is getting at

    I haven’t got it wrong at all Phantom. Driving without due care and attention is precisely that.

    I’d suggest that driving down the wrong side of the road in error resulting in the accidental death of a teenager would, from what I know of the case circumstances, warrant a manslaughter charge.

  14. //If driving errors are to be seen as criminal offenses, then every one who has ever driven a car should be put in prison.//

    Come on, Phantom, you weren’t born yesterday. You should now that the results of you mistake, irrespective of your attention, are a huge factor in criminal matters.
    A guy who discharges a gun into the air celebrating his birthday is irresponsible. But if the bullet falls and kills someone, he’s in court and possibly in prison.

    If the bullet had not hit anyone, his action would’ve been the same.

  15. Here you are Phantom:

    This offence can be an alternative to causing death by dangerous driving.

    To be found guilty of driving without due care and attention the prosecution must prove that the standard of your driving fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

    To be found guilty of driving without reasonable consideration the prosecution must prove that those involved were inconvenienced by the driving.

    In addition, the prosecution must prove that your driving was a cause of death (even if it was NOT the sole or even substantial cause of death).

    This is an offence that can be dealt with either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

    https://www.motorandtransport.co.uk/motor-offences/dangerous-driving/causing-death-by-driving-without-due-care-and-attention/

    And the more serious charge:

    This is arguably the most serious road traffic offence a person can face and obtaining expert legal advice at an early stage is crucial.

    Causing death by dangerous driving can only be dealt with in the Crown Court and has a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

    To be found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving the prosecution must prove that the standard of your driving fell far below that of a competent and careful driver AND it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way or driving a vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.

    The prosecution also must show that your driving was a cause of death (even if it was NOT the sole or even substantial cause of death).

    https://www.motorandtransport.co.uk/motor-offences/dangerous-driving/causing-death-by-dangerous-driving/

  16. It’s “highly inappropriate” to drive on the wrong side of the road and to flee the country after promising to stay. It’s also “highly inappropriate” to describe CIA officers as diplomats and to confer diplomatic immunity on their spouses.

    Spot on Pete. This has been a disgraceful episode which shows up the hollowness of the so-called “special relationship”. If a Brit had done this in DC and then fled to Blighty we would have seen you-know-who throwing his toys from the pram and threatening sanctions.

  17. Colm

    I’m not talking about the merits of the extradition

    I’m talking about what she did, and the apparent injustice built into English law ( Irish law Is presumed to be copycat )

    There Are many auto accidents and many related fatalities in all our lands. Almost none of those deaths are caused by vehicle defects. A number are caused by alcohol impairment. But just about all of the rest of them are caused by error / inattention of some type.

    I’m all for prosecuting speeders , those who drive drunk, those who drive on bald tires. I think that it is a grave injustice to prosecute those who make errors. It’s an intentional injustice on the part of the government.

    This is a much larger issue than this, one that gets into medical malpractice and other fields where errors are made.

    All doctors make errors because all doctors are human.

    The blame and liability culture makes it so that doctors and others almost never talk about their errors, and as a result of that lack of discussion , you have more errors ongoing.

    I’ve always known the English libel law to be very bad, but if this is how the Brits deal with driving errors, live
    Is only one of the defects in your system.

    Hard case meets bad law.

  18. The offence is “causing death by dangerous driving”. I can’t see the problem with the charge but it looks like no jury will get the chance to give a verdict.

  19. Phantom,

    It depends on the nature of the error. A person who makes an error, while making every reasonable effort not to should not be punished for that error. A person who makes an error while being reckless should be punished for that error.

  20. Noel

    I don’t except that example

    The Person who fires a gun in the air does that wrong act intentionally.

    I doubt very much that this woman drove on the wrong side of the road intentionally

  21. Intention doesn’t come into it. It’s explained to you above:

    The prosecution must prove that the standard of your driving fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

  22. There isn’t the slightest shred of evidence that she was being reckless

    Pete did the same thing that this woman did, and my Irish relatives did it driving in America

    I’ve driven the wrong way down a one way street before correcting myself

    All of these were substantially the same things that she did.

    criminal prosecution or god help us conviction based on what we know would be a monstrous injustice, revenge for a driving error

  23. Her actions resulted in the death on a 19 year old lad. It’s a lot more serious than the ‘driving error’ that you’re trying to reduce it to.

    The standard of your driving fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

    That’s what the law says.

  24. Your English law that you are so proud of is an sloppy and imprecise disgrace

    Every driving error, most certainly all which Involve being in the wrong lane or the wrong side of the road, or even hitting the brakes too slowly would not be expected of a competent and careful driver

    So let’s put every driver who causes an accident in the klink

  25. If she didn’t have diplomatic immunity then you can prosecute her in accordance with the laws of the land. She does, so you can’t.

    End of story.

  26. I find the concept of diplomatic immunity to be hateful, especially among friendly and Allied countries

    Even though here it appears to be preventing an injustice

    Going forward, I’d be in favor of abolishing diplomatic immunity As it applies to Americans in Europe, or Europeans in America

  27. Phantom

    You make it sound as if we criminalise and jail every driver who breaks the Highway Code . It’s perfectly possible that the conclusion of the police investigation would have been not to proceed with a prosecution or indeed for the court to decide it was an error that did not need to result in a criminal conviction. You seem to believe there doesn’t even need to be any form of police or judicial investigation at all. If she says it was a simple error that’s the end of the matter , it doesn’t matter that a death was caused. Yours is the sloppy shameful and disgraceful attitude, not the U.K. law.

  28. Your English law that you are so proud of is an sloppy and imprecise disgrace

    So, she shouldn’t answer to the law because you disagree with it?

    So let’s put every driver who causes an accident in the klink

    No, let’s not. Let’s investigate all approriate cases and if they’ve caused death by careless driving / without due care & attention let them face the appropriate punishment as deemed by law.

    End of story

    At least you’re being honest in your ‘tough shit justice, we have her now’ outlook.

  29. //She does, so you can’t.//

    She doesn’t, so they can.

  30. Phantom, you are being roasted here, time to concede and accept you are wrong 😉

  31. One man In the right against 1000 is still in the right

    What happened was horrible, You don’t fix anything by wrongful prosecution

    I Don’t imagine that there would be many countries in the world where cases like this would involve the possibility of criminal prosecution.

  32. A young lad is dead because of her seemingly driving without due care and attention.

    Shouldn’t it at least be investigated and if the evidence there tried?

    BTW, you’re not in the right.

  33. No one said that the case should be investigated

    Please pay attention

  34. No one said that the case should not be investigated

  35. How can the case be investigated if the main suspect isn’t there?

    If there is sufficient evidence that she was driving without due care and attention should she be tried?

  36. Phantom –

    You appear to think that charges have already been laid. They have not been laid. As Colm says, it’s possible that charges might not arise. Even if charges were brought, prosecutors must reach the standard posted by Paul above.

    But an investigation must be concluded first, and her presence is necessary for that.

    Can you assure that if, say, a Mexican had killed a young American in similar circumstances and had fled back south, that you would likewise say it’s just an error?

  37. Her presence is not necessary for an investigation.

  38. It is for a proper investigation. For example the demeanour etc of a suspect can’t be judged through a video link.

  39. Fly her back for her demeanor?

  40. I suspect that had had this driver been a Canadian driving in the US and killing a US lad through her driving, saying ahe would stay and co operate with an investigation and then skipping over the border back to Canada the attitude of our American colleagues would be somewhat different.

    I wouldn’t like to have her conscience.

  41. You suspect incorrectly. The practice of diplomatic immunity is just too important, even if there are occasions where it is more difficult to accept.

  42. I’m not talking about any extradition issues here

    As Mahons says There is no reason that a full investigation cannot take place right now

    I say that the law as cited is imprecise And would be subject to the whim of a prosecutor or a jury. Here , ginned up by your gutter press

    Driving on the wrong side of the road is bad, we all agree on that.

    As stated, nearly every auto accident not involving drinking is the result of a mistake, including a momentary lack of attention to detail. A number of these cases result in serious injuries or deaths. Very few involve prosecution. Which is entirely correct.

    I reject the mob mentality, So Sue me

  43. We appear to have reached a conclusion.

    English law is sloppy and defective, not up to exacting American standards, where fatal mistakes are shrugged off and prime suspects don’t need to be questioned in person.

  44. Paul

    In the case you come up with, the Canadian driver would not likely be subject to criminal prosecution here based on similar circumstances. What would be the point of it?

    Criminal prosecution in such a case shocks the conscience

  45. It’s not about flying her back. That isn’t going to happen unless she volunteers it. It’s about respecting the investigation in the first place. She chose to flee and not complete the process and that is where the family of Harry Dunn feel rightfully aggrieved and insulted. The Americans here on ATW seem to have decided to adopt an “Americans First” attitude to this event , sticking by their compatriot despite her cowardice and abuse of privilege.

  46. Pete

    No one is saying that

    You Guys are all over the place

    I only say that a driver who makes an error, even a fatal error, should not be subject to criminal penalties

  47. Diplomatic immunity is part of British Law. So is the right to silence of suspected persons.

  48. Even if there are occasions where it is more difficult to accept.

    As I said, you are more direct in your ‘tough shit we have her now’ stance.

    There is no reason that a full investigation cannot take place right now

    There is, as I state above.

    I don’t care what you think is imprecise, it’s the standard of law which has to be adhered to. Are you suggesting that she be above the law because you disagree with it?

  49. Colm

    Bite me

    This has nothing to do with America first or any of that goddamn bullshit

    The only one bringing that into this discussion is you, and Pete Moore, who brings up the fact that her husband was a CIA guy at every possible opportunity

  50. Colm – that is utterly false. I’m not arguing that her status is protected because she happens to be American.

  51. I only say that a driver who makes an error, even a fatal error, should not be subject to criminal penalties

    And it’s been demonstrated to you a few times above that the law says differently to what you say.

  52. Paul

    You’re still confused; I’m not talking about that

    I am saying that your English law is morally wrong here, And that it is not precise

    Am I being clear enough

  53. The law she is said to have violated is not the issue. Under diplomatic immunity she could have committed a graver crime and still been protected.

  54. Phantom and Mahons

    You are both being maybe even subconsciously defensive of her behaviour because she is American , even if you won’t admit it.

  55. I am saying that your English law is morally wrong here

    Where? in the US or in your opinion? Because the incident didn’t happen in any of those jurisdictions. It happened in the jurisdiction where that is the srandard of the law.

    I hope that’s clear enough.

  56. Colm –

    They have form in this regard. A Marines crew killed twenty people in the Dolomites by their recklessness. The American reaction is as breathtaking as their recklessness –

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalese_cable_car_disaster_(1998)

    The Cavalese cable car disaster of 1998, also called the Strage del Cermis (“Massacre at Cermis”) occurred on 3 February 1998, near the Italian town of Cavalese, a ski resort in the Dolomites some 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Trento. Twenty people died when a United States Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft, while flying too low, against regulations, in order for the pilots to “have fun” and “take videos of the scenery”, cut a cable supporting a gondola of an aerial tramway.

    Joseph Schweitzer, one of the two American pilots, confessed in 2012 that he had burned the tape containing incriminating evidence upon returning to the American base. The pilot, Captain Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Captain Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the U.S. and found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide.

    Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane, and were dismissed from the Marine Corps. The disaster, and the subsequent acquittal of the pilots, strained relations between the U.S. and Italy.

    The military flew them out of Italy immediately, away from Italian authorities. They were cleared on any charges related to killing twenty people, but – oh boy – don’t you go burning a tape. That’s conduct unbecoming!

  57. Colm

    I completely reject that. I’ve got against the US position on many issues here

    I think that the British and the west British here have taken a lazy position and support Hometown justice and Hometown Ways. And let’s not forget that her husband is a CIA officer

  58. Colm – nope. We host the United Nations and have diplomats up to our eyes in NYC. A lot of them commit offenses and claim diplomatic immunity. From parking tickets to violent crimes. I accept that for the greater good diplomatic immunity can be asserted.

  59. Mahons And I are debating different parts of this issue, but we’re both correct

    The rest of you should stop reading the daily mail, Take two aspirin and get a good nights sleep

  60. I think that the British and the west British

    So, if I’m an Irish citizen living in Britiain I’m not bound to obey it’s laws?

    West British? Trying arguing the point on its merits without resorting to snide remarks.

  61. Mahons, I absolutely concede your DI point.

    That doesn’t detract from the wider moral issue. She stated she would co operate with the investigation then flitted the country.

  62. Anyone should obey the law of the nation that they are acting in

    But for better or worse diplomatic immunity is part of that nations law

  63. “Ehem”

    https://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/20/us/envoy-is-sentenced-to-prison-in-fatal-crash.html

    Stripped of his diplomatic immunity, a former envoy of the Republic of Georgia was sentenced today to 7 to 21 years in prison for killing a teen-age girl and injuring four others in January when he was driving while intoxicated […]

    The fatal accident involving Mr. Makharadze, along with an altercation last December involving diplomats from Russia and Belarus and New York City police officers, reignited the controversy over the bounds of diplomatic immunity.

    In Mr. Makharadze’s case, President Eduard A. Shevardnadze of Georgia yielded to pressure from the State Department and lifted Mr. Makharadze’s immunity in February, opening the way for his trial.

  64. As I said to Mahons above, the point on DI is conceded but it still doesn’t detract from the wider morality of her stating she would co operate and then running.

    I hope her conscience haunts her for the rest of her life.

  65. That’s from the New York Times so it’s obviously fake news

  66. Paul – a moral failing perhaps in agreeing to cooperate and then not. She may also have been advised of her legal rights and choose to invoke them. She may also have seen how tabloid this would become (the Prime Minister’s last personal intervention in a car accident was when exactly?) People facing potential prosecution (rightfully or wrongfully) often rethink what cooperation may result in.

  67. Good catch Pete.

  68. Well Mahons, as we can see from Pete’s link above, DI is a Holy Grail to the US.

  69. Pete – I’ve discussed that case personally when this case was originally discussed. That guy still had DI until his country waived it. His was a repeat offense and a graver one due his drinking.
    Had this woman been legally intoxicated I would argue we should waive her DI.

  70. The intent of the mob is to ruin the woman’s life. No other purpose.

    I was going to say this, and here look what Paul just said.

    The woman and her family will be stalked for the rest of her life by the howling mob and the Mail because she made an error

  71. I was going to say this, and here look what Paul just said

    Say what and what did Paul say?

  72. I’m not saying DI can’t be waived, only that I don’t think it should be waived in these circumstances.
    An Irish envoy’s son drunkenly killed a woman with his car in the US. He enjoyed full DI.

  73. Can you link to that case?

  74. I’ll go look.

  75. It was David Hearne the son of Irish Ambassador John J Hearne. The woman was African American and it was the 1959s so sadly that might be part of why the outcry wasn’t big in US.

  76. I can only find two thumbnails of the death from the NYT which are unreadable. I’d like to know the circumstances and subsquent developments of the incident in order to form an opinion before I comment.

  77. That is pretty much all I got at the moment and my memory as to alcohol involvement may be faulty.

  78. I have a bit of alcohol impermanent at the moment as well.
    This woman was unlikely to face a prison sentence for what appears to be a genuine accident. The right thing to do here, would have been for her to face justice in the UK. The fact that she ran away from her responsibilities like a coward, and that hey ho country seems to be preventing justice being done, speaks volumes.

  79. The Iranians just arrested the UK Ambassador. The UK government has invoked Diplomatic Immunity and protested his arrest. I await the cmoments here demanding he face Iranian justice and not invoke the legal protections afforded a diplomat.

  80. Your comparison is moronic. This woman wasn’t the US Ambassador to the UK. Her likely unlawful killing of a teenager were in no way shape or form related to her or her husband’s diplomatic duties. And the UK and Iran are not allies.

  81. A bit of desperation from Mahons.

  82. I’ll attribute your hostility to embarrassment. One does not need to be the Ambassador to be protected by diplomatic immunity. The host nation’s law alleged to have been broken need to be related to a diplomatic duty. And alliance or hostility is not a factor in the application of this international law.

  83. Colm – yes, I arranged for Iran to arrest a British Diplomat for a violation of its laws to compel the United Kingdom to invoke Diplomatic Immunity to further my argument on ATW.

  84. “I’ll attribute your hostility to embarrassment. One does not need to be the Ambassador to be protected by diplomatic immunity. The host nation’s law alleged to have been broken need to be related to a diplomatic duty. And alliance or hostility is not a factor in the application of this international law.”

    The only one embarrassing themselves here is you.

    No one is saying that diplomatic immunity shouldn’t apply. What they are saying is that that if the US were actually a real ally they would waive diplomatic immunity in this case.

  85. Of course having your arguments torn asunder it is easier for you to move on to another one. Now it’s if the US was a real ally (how soon they forget) it would waive diplomatic immunity in this case.
    At least another member of the lynch mob has been dragged kicking and screaming to the admission that DI does apply.

  86. “Of course having your arguments torn asunder it is easier for you to move on to another one. Now it’s if the US was a real ally (how soon they forget) it would waive diplomatic immunity in this case.”

    I’ve been saying diplomatic immunity almost certainly applies in this case from the start. Your lack of reading comprehension is clearly holding you back. In fact the 3rd comment on this thread is one from me saying diplomatic almost certainly applies.

    Now stop being a dick.

  87. I await the cmoments here demanding he face Iranian justice and not invoke the legal protections afforded a diplomat

    When the diplomat has cynically abused the DI doctrine in order to escape potential punishments for an action not connected in any way to his diplomatic duties then you might have an accurate comparison.

  88. Gosh Seamus, I always figured you liked dick.

  89. “Gosh Seamus, I always figured you liked dick.”

    Well gosh you figured wrong. Other side of the street for me. Do you want me to call you a cunt instead?

  90. Either way it shows the level of your debate.

  91. “Either way it shows the level of your debate.”

    As opposed to you – who accused someone of something, was proven wrong and decided to pretend that never happened. Of course having your arguments torn asunder it is easier for you to move on to another one.

  92. Poor Seamus.

  93. No poor is your refusal to even admit that you called something wrong.