Harry Dunn: PM calls for return of US diplomat’s wife to UK


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Media captionHarry Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, and his father, Tim Dunn pleaded for the return of the suspect

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he does not believe diplomatic immunity should be used in the case of a suspect allegedly involved in a fatal crash.

The United States should “reconsider its decision” to grant immunity to a suspect allegedly involved in a fatal crash, Downing Street has said.

US diplomat’s wife Anne Sacoolas is a suspect in inquiries into the death of motorcyclist Harry Dunn.

He was killed in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, diplomats and their family members are immune from prosecution in their host country, as long as they are not nationals of that country. However, their immunity can be waived by the state that has sent them.

The US State Department said diplomatic immunity was “rarely waived”.

Speaking during a visit to a hospital in Watford, the Prime Minister said: “I think everybody’s sympathies are very much with the family of Harry Dunn and our condolences to them for their tragic loss.

“I must answer you directly, I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.

“And I hope that Anne Sacoolas will come back and will engage properly with the processes of law as they are carried out in this country.

“That’s a point that we’ve raised or are raising today with the American ambassador here in the UK and I hope it will be resolved very shortly.

“And to anticipate a question you might want to raise, if we can’t resolve it then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House.”

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Family photo

Image caption

Harry Dunn, from Charlton, Banbury, died in hospital after his motorbike was in a crash with a Volvo

Ms Sacoolas left the UK despite telling police she had no such plans.

Both Northamptonshire’s chief constable and police and crime commissioner have already urged the Americans to waive Ms Sacoolas’s diplomatic immunity.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also urged the US Embassy to reconsider.

Mr Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said leaving the country was “such a dishonourable thing to do” and urged Ms Sacoolas to come back.

“We don’t wish her any harm. She’s a mum; we don’t want to take her away from her kids either, but she’s taken one of ours and she’s taken my twin boys’ twinship away,” she told BBC 5 Live.

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