UK lawmaker asks for virtual trial in diplomat’s wife crash

LONDON (AP) — A U.K. lawmaker has asked the government to hold a virtual trial for the wife of an American diplomat who left Britain after being involved in a road accident that killed a British teenager.

The decision to charge Anne Sacoolas, who has claimed diplomatic immunity, has caused tensions between the U.K. and the United States. The Americans have refused to extradite her to stand trial for dangerous driving in the death of 19-year-old motorcycle rider Harry Dunn.

Sacoolas’ husband was an intelligence officer at RAF Croughton, a military base in central England used by U.S. forces. The crash occurred near the base.

Dunn’s family has urged her to return and face British justice, and met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington as part of their campaign.

Britain’s Press Association reported that lawmaker Andrea Leadsom wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday to put forward the idea of a virtual trial or a trial in absentia as a “way to achieve closure… without undermining the U.S. decision not to accept the extradition request.”

“She could remain on U.S. soil, have a virtual trial with a U.K. court, and should there be a custodial sentence, she could serve it in the U.S. under the existing prisoner transfer agreement,” Leadsom wrote.

Leadsom also wrote to the solicitor general, the foreign secretary and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The family’s spokesman Radd Seiger said the family “would not object” if a decision were taken to conduct a remote trial.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected the extradition request in January. He described it at the time as “final.”

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