The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said that US President Joe Biden had expressed “great sympathy” for the case of Harry Dunn, a British teenager who died after being hit by a car driven by the wife of the American diplomat.
Anne Sakualos, the driver, declared diplomatic immunity and left the United Kingdom after the crash in front of RAF Croughton, a central military base in England controlled by the US Air Force.
In a statement to CNN, a Downing Street spokesman said the “tragic” issue had been raised before Biden, and Johnson “reiterated” that Britain “wants to see justice for the family.”
“He has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply on the issue,” Johnson told the BBC. Biden’s first wife and young daughter died in a car crash in 1972.
“He was extremely sympathetic, but this is not something that the government can control very easily, as there are legal processes that are still ongoing,” Johnson added.
Last year, Britain and the United States agreed to reconsider an “anomaly” that allowed Sakualas, the wife of a former US diplomat, to leave Britain. Under the terms of the revised agreement, family members based in RAF Croughton will no longer receive immunity from criminal jurisdiction and will face prosecution where applicable.
In a statement, Dunn’s mother, Charlotte, said Thursday that they were “extremely grateful” that the case was being taken “so seriously that it would be raised on the eve of the G7 summit.”
“We strongly hope that President Biden will take a different view of the previous administration, given his deeply personal connection to the case, which suffered a loss in such circumstances,” said family lawyer Rad Seiger.
The White House declined to comment, but a National Security Council spokesman told CNN: “Once again, we express our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family for the loss of their son. It was a tragic accident. The United States remains closely committed to the United Kingdom government, and we are transparent about our positions on legal and diplomatic issues related to this accident.
A little more context: Former President Trump once tried to intervene in Dunn’s case, even meeting with his parents at the White House in October 2019. Dunn’s parents were surprised when Trump told them that Anne Sakualas was in the next room. Dunn’s parents turned down Trump’s offer to meet with her.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Zahid Mahmood contributed to the reporting of this publication.