The wife of a CIA operative could face a virtual trial over the death of Harry Dunn, who lost his life nearly two years ago.
The 19-year-old was killed in August 2019 when a car crashed into his motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, a base used by the US military.
Anne Sacoolas, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving but dodged extradition after being granted diplomatic immunity by the US.
She left the UK nine days after the crash, leaving British prosecutors powerless.
The Foreign Office will now pursue a trans-Atlantic justice process to end the impasse – and they may find they are pushing against an open door with President Joe Biden in the White House.
In 1972, the President’s wife and baby daughter were killed in a road crash, a tragedy which almost also claimed the lives of his two young sons.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has raised the diplomatic stand-off with Biden at the G7 summit and has told the BBC his US counterpart is ‘extremely sympathetic’ due to his own family history.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4’s today programme that the Foreign Office is pushing for a process that would not require extradition.
He said: ‘The US has not agreed to the extradition, but the path is clear for the legal authorities in the UK to approach Anne Sacoolas’s lawyers – without any problem from the US government – to see whether some kind of virtual trial or process could allow some accountability and some solace and some justice for the Dunn family.
‘I would like to see some accountability. I think the family deserve no less.’
On Friday, the Prime Minister revealed Mr Biden may be more inclined to listen to the UK’s stance than President Donald Trump had been.
He said: ‘As you know, he has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply about the issue.
‘And he was extremely sympathetic, but this is not something that either government can control very easily because there are legal processes that are still going on.’
Speaking after the Biden-Johnson meeting, Harry Dunn’s mum Charlotte Charles said: ‘We are incredibly grateful that Harry’s case is being taken so seriously as to be raised on the eve of the G7 meeting with so many worldwide crises going on.
‘We very much hope that President Biden takes a different view to the previous administration, given his deeply personal connection to the case, having suffered loss in similar circumstances.’
She added the family is ‘suffering intensely’ and called on both side to ‘help bring this living nightmare to an end so that we can try to rebuild our shattered lives’.
The Dunn family has challenged the diplomatic immunity asserted on Sacoolas’s behalf, which will be heard in the Court of Appeal next year.
Ms Charles and Mr Dunn’s father Tim Dunn have also brought a civil claim against Sacoolas and her husband, Jonathan, in the US state of Virginia.