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Block Julian Assange extradition, Harry Dunn’s family urges Government

The family of Harry Dunn have called on the Government to block Julian Assange’s extradition. Credit: Dunn family handout

The family of Harry Dunn has called for Julian Assange not to be extradited as long as the US refuses to send the suspect in the teenager’s death back to the UK.

The 19-year-old’s parents have said they believe any further extradition requests by the US should be refused after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected the return of the woman involved in their son’s death, Anne Sacoolas, last month.

Their spokesman Radd Seiger said the Foreign Affairs Committee had accepted their request for an inquiry into the extradition, and to the diplomatic immunity granted to Mrs Sacoolas.

Earlier this month, the Foreign Office said they had “no plans” to launch a public inquiry into the case – saying the case had been handled “properly and lawfully throughout”.

The teenager was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car driven by Mrs Sacoolas outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

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Mrs Sacoolas, the 42-year-old wife of an intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash and sparked international controversy after being allowed to return to her home country.

She was later charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.

Mr Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles and father, Tim Dunn, said they were told by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab that the Government was “reviewing all our options” after Mr Pompeo’s refusal to extradite Mrs Sacoolas.

Speaking about Mr Assange’s potential extradition to the US, Mr Seiger said: “Harry Dunn’s family understand and respect the importance of extradition procedures between nations and the huge public interest that attaches to extradition.

“No one is above the law and no one must be allowed to evade justice if they manage to flee a country, whether diplomat or not.

“That said, in refusing the UK’s perfectly lawful request to extradite Anne Sacoolas, and not even following the legal and judicial process the US/UK Treaty calls for, the US has launched the single greatest attack on the so called special relationship between the countries in modern memory.”

Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn's mother. Credit: PA

Mr Seiger continued: “The US is not behaving like an ally and has effectively thumbed its nose up at the UK and ignored the clearly laid out provisions in the treaty, effectively tearing it up.

“The principle of reciprocity is at the core of any extradition treaty. Despite its disgraceful refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas, the US continues to seek the extradition of people in the UK such as Julian Assange.

“In doing so, they are demonstrating an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy and the double standards on display are unprecedented.

“The US needs to be brought firmly back into line on the international stage and be made to understand that they are not going to have their way.”

Julian Assange’s full extradition hearing is due to begin next week. Credit: PA

Mr Seiger’s comments followed Saturday’s protest in which hundreds of Assange’s supporters marched through London ahead of next week’s full extradition hearing.

Calling for the Government to block the extradition request, Mr Seiger said: “In accordance with the principle of reciprocity which the US is failing to abide by, on behalf of Harry Dunn’s family and the millions of concerned citizens in the UK, I now demand that the UK authorities block any further extraditions to the US, including the one of Julian Assange, until such time as Anne Sacoolas is extradited and back on UK soil facing the justice system here.

“Dominic Raab told us when we met with him on January 27 that ‘we are reviewing all our options’ following the refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas.

“I now call him to exercise that option of refusing to extradite Julian Assange and others to the USA.

“It is high time that the UK Government comes out and shows us what they are made of if they are to instill any confidence that they really do have our backs, Harry’s family having been so badly let down following his death last August.”