London (CNN)The UK government says it has reached a deal with the United States to change the diplomatic immunity rules that meant an American woman charged with causing the death of a British teenager in a road accident has not had to return to face trial.
UK announces deal to change diplomatic immunity rules after Harry Dunn death
The UK and US agreed to revise an "anomaly" that allowed Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a former US diplomat, to leave Britain after 19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced Wednesday.
"It's important that we have now agreed with the US new arrangements that have closed the anomaly that led to the denial of justice in the heartbreaking case of Harry Dunn. The new arrangements mean it could not happen again," Raab said.
"I know these changes won't bring Harry back, and I appreciate the pain and suffering the family are still going through, but I hope this may bring some small measure of comfort to them, because I know they want to prevent any other family going through the same ordeal they have," he added.
Sacoolas, the driver of the car that killed motorcyclist Dunn, claimed diplomatic immunity after the crash outside RAF Croughton, a central England military base controlled by the US Air Force. According to police, the vehicle that hit Dunn's motorbike was driving on the wrong side of the road.
Britain's attempt to extradite Sacoolas to face charges of causing death by dangerous driving was declined by US authorities, and the incident has sparked an ongoing diplomatic row between the two countries, involving both leaders.
Under the terms of the revised agreement, family members of staff based at RAF Croughton will no longer be given immunity from criminal jurisdiction and will face criminal prosecution where applicable.
While the agreement does not guarantee the return of Sacoolas to the UK, Dunn's family say they remain committed to campaigning for her return.
Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, the family's spokesman, Radd Seiger, said they welcome this "giant step," which comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of Dunn's death.
Raab explained in his statement that the status of US staff at RAF Croughton had been "the subject of special arrangements between the UK and US governments,"