In a statement Wednesday, Sacoolas and her personal lawyer Amy Jeffress said they would like to find a way to bring “some degree of peace and closure” to the von Dunn family after Sacoolas was accused of killing 19-year-old Harry got Dunn while driving on the wrong side of the road in England.
Sacoolas and Jeffress “stand ready to discuss options, including mediation, in order to find a way to resolution,” the statement said.
The Sacoolas law firm confirmed to CNN that this is the first time their client has proposed mediation.
At the time of the crash on August 27, 2019, Sacoolas, a US citizen, had been described as “the wife of a US diplomat,” but in a surprising revelation earlier this month, her attorney, John McGavin, told the Virginia court that she was dated US State Department was employed.
Although she does not deny that she was negligent and admits she was driving the wrong side of the road at the time of the accident, Sacoolas and her family fled the UK after US authorities claimed she had diplomatic immunity.
The reason for their employment is that the US and UK agreed in the mid-1990s that American intelligence officers stationed at RAF Croughton cannot claim diplomatic immunity for criminal incidents outside the US base. If it had been known in the days after the crash that Anne Sacoolas was employed by the State Department, she might not have been able to easily claim a spouse’s diplomatic immunity.
Sacoolas is still accused in the UK of causing Dunn’s death by dangerous driving, but the State Department has denied a UK request for extradition.
Instead, Dunn’s family filed a civil case against Sacoolas, Virginia, where she lives, “as a last resort” in September 2020. Sacoolas petitioned for the civil case to be dismissed, arguing that it should be tried in the UK, although he repeatedly refused to allow it to be heard in the UK because he feared it would not receive fair treatment.
Her legal team said Judge TSEllis ‘ruling in Virginia Eastern District Court on Tuesday to allow civil proceedings to proceed in the United States “did not affect Anne Sacoolas’ diplomatic immunity.”
“Anne Sacoolas’ employment status was never relevant to her diplomatic immunity, which was based on her husband’s status as an accredited diplomat,” she added.
Radd Seiger, advisor and spokesman for the Dunn family, responded to their mediation proposal in a statement to CNN: “We are delighted to have received strong evidence from Ms. Sacoolas and her personal lawyer this afternoon that they are ready to discuss options with them Look to find a way forward.
“I would like to urge Ms. Jeffress and the prosecution to look into each other as urgently as possible, and the parents and I are more than happy to have these discussions if necessary.”
“We are certain that once a satisfactory solution is found, both families can move on to recovery,” he added.