The mother of a teenage British motorcyclist allegedly killed by an American diplomat’s wife said Wednesday that she doesn’t want “revenge” — and could even plead for mercy if Anne Sacoolas returns to the UK to face prosecution over the wrong-way crash.
“My grief can never be completely assuaged, but I certainly do not want revenge,” Charlotte Charles wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
“I just want [Sacoolas] to do what any of us would be obliged to do in a similar situation: face up to what she has done and receive justice according to law. Then, I will be able to fully grieve.”
Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and returned to the US after allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road and smashing her Volvo into 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn in Northamptonshire, England, on Aug. 27.
In December, she was charged in absentia with causing death by dangerous driving, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied a request to extradite Sacoolas, 42, who’s been identified in British news reports as an ex-CIA spy married to a US intelligence officer.
On Monday, British news reports said Interpol had issued a “Red Notice” calling for Sacoolas’ arrest if she traveled outside the US.
In her op-ed, Charles said the charge against Sacoolas carried a maximum 14-year prison sentence that’s “seldom imposed, and then only in cases of serious negligence resulting in death, such as speeding or texting while driving.”
“If the court found that Harry’s death was an accident (which it surely was), and given that Anne has three children to look after, it would be possible for her to receive a non-custodial sentence if Harry’s father and I were prepared to forgive her and ask for mercy,” Charles wrote.
“Months ago, our lawyer told hers that we were prepared to do just that…Harry’s father and I are still prepared, even after all this time, to treat Anne as part of our victim group.”
Charles noted that Sacoolas “witnessed something horrible that night, and that she must be suffering herself.””I believe she has a conscience and knows she made a mistake by fleeing, but is now under great pressure from the U.S. government — the intelligence community, the State Department and the like — because other issues are at stake,” she wrote.
“I pray that Anne will have the courage to decide for herself to return to Britain and sit with me in a court that will do justice — and justice includes mercy — for my Harry.”
She added: “I do not want her to remain an international outlaw. We might even be able to build a relationship out of this tragedy, in my need and in hers.”
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