At long last, yesterday, January 10, the UK Home Office initiated an extradition request for the American driver in the highly charged matter of the traffic accident which resulted in the death of 19 year-old Harry Dunn.
Presumably, that means the UK Home Office has determined that it could prosecute the driver in that case despite the driver's having diplomatic immunity to UK criminal jurisdiction at the time of the accident. Or else, it has given in to political/emotional blackmail and passed the ball to the U.S. government where it knows the request will be denied. The last sentence of the Home Office announcement - that this is now "a decision for the U.S. authorities" - makes it sound like the latter.
Here's a primer on all you need to know about extradition law and procedure. The bottom line up front is that the U.S. SecState has final discretionary authority to approve or disapprove an extradition request. Clearly, he will disapprove this one, since SecState Mike Pompeo and his official spokesperson have firmly and repeatedly stated his position that the extradition of a person back to a country where that person was previously covered by diplomatic immunity would essentially negate diplomatic immunity itself. And the USG is not interested in abolishing diplomatic immunity.
But will this particular request even get that far? If I were a betting man, I'd bet the USG will reject the request - that is, not even consider it or process it for a decision - on Monday of next week.
In that bet, I think I am on the same frequency as the Dunn family's spokesman, who started to hedge his rhetorical certainty about extradition as soon as the request was made. In the BBC story of yesterday:
Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said she [the American driver] will "100% be coming back".
"I have no doubt in my mind, the only thing I can't tell you is when," he told BBC Breakfast.
"This campaign won't stop until Anne Sacoolas is back in the UK facing the justice system. There is no celebration and until she is back, we won't rest.
"This lady is accused of taking Harry's life, then fleeing the country. No-one is above the law in modern society. You don't get to move to a country, break a law in that country and then leave."
Mr Seiger said that under the circumstances, the family was "really pleased" the UK authorities had taken the "huge step towards justice", but if the Trump administration was to ignore or reject the request, it would be re-presented should another administration come into power.
So to recap, he is "100%" certain that in this, or possibly another alternative future dimension, she will be dragged back to the UK. The tell was that he is only 100 percent certain, whereas a pitchman should always be one thousand percent certain, or ten thousand percent, or a million percent certain.
Moreover, I don't think this extradition request would play well in any administration that might succeed the Trump administration. Besides, that next administration could just possibly be headed by Mike Pompeo, now that he's reported to be giving up on plans to run for the Senate.
A country that's got its swagger back would surely never allow its diplomats or their spouses to be extradited.