London: A US diplomat’s wife has been charged with causing the death of a British teenager by dangerous driving, the victim’s family spokesman said.
Harry Charles, 19, was killed when a car that Anne Sacoolas, 42, was allegedly driving crashed into his motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, metro.co.uk reported.
She was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash and flew back to the US, despite the UK Foreign Office later saying her husband was not a registered diplomat in a recognised role.
Harry’s family have fought for Sacoolas to be charged in relation to his death and called Friday’s decision “justice”, the spokesman Radd Seiger said
The decision to charge her came just under seven weeks after a file of evidence was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by police on November 1.
Speaking outside the CPS headquarters here following the verdict, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles said: “We feel that we have made a huge step in the start of achieving the promise to Harry that we made.
“We had no idea it was going to be so hard and it would take so long but we feel it is a huge step towards that promise we made Harry.”
Sacoolas was twice interviewed by Northamptonshire Police – once on the day after the crash, and on another occasion by officers who travelled to the US, reports metro.co.uk.
But under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, families of diplomats are granted immunity from arrest or detention, with the sending state able to issue a waiver of that immunity.
According to the CPS, the immunity does not apply to dependents of consular officials based outside of London.
The US State Department said that it was “disappointed” at the decision to charge Sacoolas and said it fears “it will not bring a resolution closer”.