The parents of the teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn are set to hear face-to-face legal testimony from their son’s alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas, for the first time almost two years after his death.
Sacoolas and her husband, Jonathan, have been told they will be “deposed” by 23 July this year – meaning they will give their account of events under oath in front of Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, and his father, Tim Dunn.
The deposition will form part of the “discovery” process in the Dunn family’s civil claim in the US, in which correspondence and documentation relevant to the case will be handed over ahead of a trial at the end of the year.
The 19-year-old was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside the US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019. Sacoolas, 43, had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government following the incident and was able to return to her home country.
She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving but the US state department has described its refusal to extradite her as “final” on a number of occasions.
The Dunn family’s civil claim has unearthed previously unheard material, such as the state department roles held by the Sacoolases. The Alexandria district court in Virginia heard the couple’s work in intelligence was a “factor” in their departure from the UK and that they left for “security reasons”.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the pair have also submitted their “answers” to the civil proceedings, asserting their objections to certain parts of the claim. Judge Thomas Ellis gave the civil claim the go-ahead earlier this month.
The Sacoolases’ legal team has asserted that various parts of the civil claim are “not supported by the law of England and Wales” and reject the prospect of a jury trial as that is not “pursuant to the law of England and Wales”.
The scheduling order, issued on Tuesday, has informed both parties that the next hearing in the case will be heard on 21 April.
The family’s spokesperson, Radd Seiger, told the PA Media news agency it was “another giant step” for the family towards achieving justice for Harry.
He said: “The court in Virginia has now set out the timetable for the parties to follow in the civil claim to trial. This will hopefully allow them to process what happened to Harry as they seek to rebuild their shattered lives.”
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