British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said US President Joe Biden expressed “great sympathy” over the case of Harry Dunn, a British teenager who died after being hit by a car driven by a US diplomat.
Anne Sacoolas, the driver, claimed diplomatic immunity and left Britain after crashing outside the RAF Croughton, a central England military base controlled by the US Air Force.
In a statement to CNN, a Downing Street spokesman said the “tragic” issue was raised with Biden, saying Johnson “repeated” that Britain “wants to see justice for the family.”
“He has his own personal reasons for feeling very deep about the issue,” Johnson told the BBC. The city’s first wife and an infant daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972.
“He was extremely sympathetic, but this is not something that any of the governments can control very easily because there are still legal processes,” Johnson added.
Last year, Britain and the United States agreed to revise an “anomaly” that allowed Sacoolas, the wife of a former US diplomat, to leave Britain. Under the terms of the revised agreement, family members based on RAF Croughton will no longer be granted immunity from criminal jurisdiction and will be subject to criminal prosecution where appropriate.
In a statement, Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles said Thursday that they were “incredibly grateful” that the case was taken “so seriously that they were raised just before the G7 meeting.”
“We very much hope that President Biden takes a different view of the previous administration given his deeply personal connection to the case, which has suffered losses in similar circumstances,” the statement from family lawyer Radd Seiger said.
The White House declined to comment on the conversation, but a spokesman for the National Security Council told CNN, “We return our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family for the loss of their son. This was a tragic accident. The United States remains closely associated with the British Government and we have been transparent in our position on legal and diplomatic issues relating to this accident. ”
Somewhat more context: Former President Trump once tried to intervene in Dunn’s case, even meeting with his parents in the White House in October 2019. Dunn’s parents were caught off guard when Trump told them that Anne Sacoolas was in the room next door. Dunn’s parents rejected Trump’s offer to meet with her.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Zahid Mahmood contributed reporting for this post.