The Scottish Mail on Sunday


EXCLUSIVE Fugitive American wife ‘had been more senior than her husband’

- By Harry Cole and Jamie Nimmo

THE American woman accused of killing Harry Dunn was a CIA agent, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Fugitive mother-of-three Anne Sacoolas, who fled Britain after crashing into the teenager’s motorbike outside an air base last August, is understood to have served as a senior spy.

British Ministers and officials are aware of Mrs Sacoolas’s career in espionage, but she was

not declared as an agent when she came to the UK alongside her intelligen­ce officer husband Jonathan.

Last night, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles said that, following our revelation, ‘things are now beginning to fall into place’ as to why the US government was blocking her extraditio­n to face justice.

Mrs Sacoolas’s right-hand-drive Volvo is alleged to have been on the wrong side of the road when it collided with Mr Dunn last summer.

Mystery still surrounds the exact circumstan­ces of how the Sacoolas family were able to flee in the days after the crash, but the US government claim they notified the Foreign Office that they were leaving.

Mrs Sacoolas has been charged over the fatal accident outside RAF Croughton and has apologised for 19-year-old Harry’s death, but is refusing to return to Britain.

However, Harry’s family claimed there had been a ‘cover-up’ and have vowed to keep fighting to bring her back to Britain.

Multiple sources in both Washington and London have confirmed Mrs Sacoolas’s CIA background, but the American government insist she was not spying on Britain.

US government sources said Mrs Sacoolas was ‘not active’ in the UK, although a security source said: ‘You never really leave the CIA.’

One government source even claimed Mrs Sacoolas had been ‘more senior than her husband’ in the US intelligen­ce community.

Ms Charles told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘Things are now beginning to fall into place. In our deepest, darkest hour, we could not understand how anybody could just get on a plane after such a catastroph­ic crash and leave a devastated family behind.

‘We have also found it impossible to figure out why the US administra­tion has behaved in the lawless way it has in harbouring Anne Sacoolas. But no one is above the law. Whether or not you are a CIA officer, a diplomat or anyone else, the Vienna Convention

states that you must abide by and respect the rules and regulation­s of the host country.

‘Her leaving, and the US government protecting her and refusing the extraditio­n request, is nothing short of a disgrace and we will not stand for it. Whether she is CIA or not, she must come back and I will not rest until she does.’

Our revelation comes at a time of strained diplomatic relations between the UK and America over Boris Johnson’s refusal to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from building part of Britain’s 5G phone network, as well as the US refusal to extradite Mrs Sacoolas.

In contrast, Home Secretary Priti Patel last week gave the green light to extradite Mike Lynch, one of Britain’s most successful businessme­n, to face a US fraud case. Her decision opened up Tory divisions, with former Cabinet Minister David Davis using an article in The Mail on Sunday – on the facing page – to brand the US-UK extraditio­n arrangemen­ts ‘a bad treaty’.

The UK and US government­s insist that, at the time of the accident, Mrs Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity while her husband was working as technical staffer at the Northampto­nshire air base. The Foreign Office confirmed that Mrs Sacoolas ‘was notified to us as a spouse with no official role’ – but senior Whitehall figures have confirmed they knew of her CIA history.

The US State Department declined to comment on our revelation­s yesterday, saying only: ‘The driver was the spouse of an accredited diplomat to the United Kingdom.’

In December the Crown Prosecutio­n Service announced it was charging Mrs Sacoolas over Harry’s death, but her lawyers said the prospect of 14 years in prison was ‘not proportion­ate’ for what was ‘a terrible but unintentio­nal accident’.

And last month the US government turned down an extraditio­n request, to the devastatio­n of Harry’s family. However, Ms Patel’s approval of the extraditio­n of Mr Lynch has exposed an imbalance in the US-UK extraditio­n arrangemen­ts. Former Brexit Secretary Mr Davis is furious that Ms Patel allowed the billionair­e to be extradited to face criminal charges in the US before a separate civil fraud case against him in London’s High Court reaches its conclusion.

Mr Lynch, who built his software company Autonomy into a FTSE 100 heavyweigh­t before it was sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for £8.3billion, handed himself over to

police last week and was released on £10million bail. He is accused of fraudulent­ly inflating the value of Autonomy before it was sold to HP, making him a fortune.

He denies the allegation­s and claims the American firm botched the takeover.

His lawyers have argued that the case should be heard in British courts, not in America, because Mr Lynch is a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange which was governed by UK law and accounting standards.

Mr Lynch’s local MP, Greg Hands, went with Mr Davis to meet Ms Patel at the end of last month and pleaded with her to wait until the conclusion of the High Court trial.

Writing in today’s Mail on Sunday, Mr Davis accuses Ms Patel of ‘spiriting’ Mr Lynch away to America before the verdict and says the decision shows how the extraditio­n treaty is skewed too heavily in favour of America, while doing little to protect Britons.

‘When the US Department of Justice requests the extraditio­n of a UK citizen, we effectivel­y have no choice but to cough them up,’ he writes.

But when UK authoritie­s want to extradite an American ‘the US Secretary of State “may” process the request. What the US “may” choose to do was made crystal clear in the recent case of Anne Sacoolas and the death of Harry Dunn’.

Mrs Sacoolas’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment last night.

 ??  ?? NO JUSTICE: Harry Dunn and, above, Anne Sacoolas back home in Virginia last week, where she was pictured filling up her car
NO JUSTICE: Harry Dunn and, above, Anne Sacoolas back home in Virginia last week, where she was pictured filling up her car
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