Secret briefing notes accidentally shown by Donald Trump have revealed a US diplomat’s wife involved in a car crash that killed a British teenager will not be brought back to the UK for trial.
A card for the US president marked “secret” instructed Mr Trump to respond to a direct question about whether Anne Sacoolas would be returned to the UK to say she would not.
It said: “(If raised) Note, as Secretary Pompeo [the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo] told [Foreign Secretary, Dominic] Raab, that the spouse of the US government employee will not return to the United Kingdom.”
A Washington Post photographer snapped a picture of the note held face up by the president during a press conference.
The president told reporters his team will speak to Mrs Sacoolas “very shortly” and discuss whether they can set up a meeting with the family of Harry Dunn, who was killed in a road accident in Northamptonshire on 27 August.
Police think Mrs Sacoolas pulled out on the wrong side of the road as she emerged from US spy base RAF Croughton, and collided with the 19-year-old as he rode his motorbike – causing fatal injuries.
Mrs Sacoolas, 42, had diplomatic immunity and returned to the US after the crash.
Another note on Mr Trump’s briefing page said: “(If raised) Note the spouse of the US government employee will have to consider, based on the advice of her legal counsel, whether to make herself available for questioning by British authorities.”
Speaking at the White House after a phone call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Trump opted not to read from the notes and made his own reply.
He said: “It is a very complex issue, as you know. So a young man was killed. The person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity.
“We’re going to speak to her very shortly and see if we can do something. It was an accident … We’re going to speak to her and see what we can come up with so there can be some healing.”
Mr Trump added: “The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road. That can happen… I won’t say it ever happened to me, but it but it did.”
Harry’s mother and father, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, have repeatedly said they want to see Mrs Sacoolas return from the US, and have expressed their “anger” over how the death of their son has been handled by the UK government.
Ms Charles and Mr Dunn met Mr Raab on Wednesday but said afterwards that the meeting had been a “publicity stunt” and they were “disgusted”.
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, Mrs Charles said she felt Mr Raab was “patronising” towards them.
“He gave us nothing we didn’t already know… We found it quite patronising, if I’m totally honest,” she said, adding that the minister “shut down” their spokesperson when he attempted to speak on their behalf when they got upset.
The Foreign Office insisted that the husband of the Mrs Sacoolas was an accredited diplomat in the eyes of the British government, and therefore she was entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Mr Dunn, who will fly out to America with Harry’s mother shortly, says they want to talk to Mrs Sacoolas to hear what happened to help them get closure.
“You hear stuff from the police but I would like her to tell me whether she went to see Harry, did she get out the car and go and check on him. I need that for myself.”
He adds that he believes “her children must be suffering” from also being involved in the crash, which caused Harry to hit the car’s windscreen.
Mr Dunn said the president’s remark that driving on the wrong side “happens” was “almost a jokey remark. It’s quite strange. Yeah people may have done it, but that doesn’t mean they’ve killed somebody.”
The pair have become increasingly angry as now six weeks has passed since the crash.
Mr Dunn said: “If you had asked me four weeks ago, a meeting and an explanation would have been enough but because we have had no contact, or any letter, no inkling from the family or her that they are sorry I am struggling now to think that would be enough.”
Mrs Charles added that she would still be open to meeting with the diplomat’s wife, saying: “Anything, a grain of hope, would be of slight comfort now. However our anger has built a little bit considering we are now six weeks plus.”
They plan to recruit lawyers in the UK and the US with a view to possibly filing a civil claim against Mrs Sacoolas.
Source: SKY NEWS