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The one fact about the Vienna Convention known by everyone is that diplomats are not subject to the law of the country to which they are sent. But they are subject to the law of their own country. Now setting-aside the question of whether or not Anne Sacoolas has diplomatic immunity (which is already covered here), surely she can be prosecuted in the US, assuming that causing death by dangerous driving is an offence there? Is the impediment that it is an offence under (most) state law, and she was not in any US state?

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Anne Sacoolas is the wife of Jonathon Sacoolas, a CIA operative working at the United States Air Force listening station at RAF Croughton.

The report that Jonathan Sacoolas is a CIA officer (and his wife, Anne Sacoolasa, former CIA officer) is based on the report from The Guardian, 2020-02-09.
That Jonathan Sacoolas doesn't work for the NSA is based on a NSA statement published by the Washington Examiner, 2019-10-11.

Neither she, nor her husband, had diplomatic immunity based on the Vienna Convention Diplomatic Relations, 1961 nor by the Vienna Convention Consular Relations, 1963.

Her husband had diplomatic immunity based on the 1995 agreement between the US and the UK for US employees (but not spouses) at RAF Croughton, treating him as part of the US embassy.

To my knowledge, the exact text of the 1995 agreement has never been made public, so it not known under which (if any) conditions spouses were previously covered by this a agreement.

On 22 July 2020, the UK and US governments amended the arrangement to remove immunity from criminal prosecution for the family of US staff.

In this affair, the United States has simply chosen to ignore the criminal actions of one of it's citizens committed on foreign soil.

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  • Even if there were diplomatic immunity, criminal courts of the U.S. do not generally have jurisdiction over crimes committed abroad. If there was diplomatic immunity that would also likely preclude a civil action for money damages by the victim in U.S. courts on immunity grounds, even if there was not immunity for lack of jurisdiction (a civil action can be brought on claims arising anywhere in the world at the place where a defendant resides). – ohwilleke Nov 21 '20 at 1:58
  • Your answer to the other question (linked from this question) asserts that Jonathan Sacoolas was an NSA officer. This answer states that he was a CIA officer. Which is it? – phoog Nov 21 '20 at 5:00
  • @phoog Your answer to the other question (linked from this question): Not sure what is meant here. – Mark Johnson Nov 21 '20 at 6:53
  • @phoog The report that Jonathan Sacoolas is a CIA officer (and his wife, Anne Sacoolasa, former CIA officer) is based on the report from The Guardian, 2020-02-09. That Jonathan Sacoolas doesn't work for the NSA is based on a NSA statement published by the Washington Examiner, 2019-10-11. – Mark Johnson Nov 21 '20 at 6:53
  • @MarkJohnson "Not sure what is meant here": this question has a link under the text "here" that points to your answer to another question. That answer includes a quotation that indicates that Jonathan Sacoolas was an NSA officer. Thank you for clarifying. – phoog Nov 22 '20 at 21:18

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