Dunn family invite Raab to concede position on suspect’s diplomatic immunity

The parents of Harry Dunn have urged the Foreign Secretary to concede his department’s position on the diplomatic immunity granted to their son’s alleged killer.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn wrote to Dominic Raab on Monday to invite him to seek an “urgent declaration” from the High Court that 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas did not have immunity at the time the 19-year-old was killed in a road crash.

The teenager’s parents also called on Mr Raab to withdraw his statement to the House of Commons on October 21 last year in which he stated Mrs Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity – describing it as “misleading”.

Harry Dunn death
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles, alongside his father Tim Dunn, wrote to the Foreign Secretary on Monday (Aaron Chown/PA)

The move comes in the week where the family’s lawyers are expected to receive further disclosure documents which they hope will assist them in their judicial review claim against the Foreign Office (FCO).

Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire in August last year.

Mrs Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December but an extradition request for Mrs Sacoolas, submitted by the Home Office, was rejected by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in January.

Previous disclosure documents, seen by the PA news agency, showed that a senior diplomat at the FCO had sent a text message to their US embassy counterpart saying they should “feel able” to put the suspect on the next flight home.

The material, which surfaced earlier this year, also showed a briefing note copied to Mr Raab’s private secretary from three days after the fatal crash which revealed concern for some “very unpalatable headlines”.

Speaking on behalf of the family after the letter was sent to the Foreign Secretary, their spokesman Radd Seiger told PA: “It is now time the UK Government put the interests of its citizens above anything else.

“Anne Sacoolas never had diplomatic immunity, yet the UK Government rolled over under pressure from the US government and agreed that she did, unlawfully.

US Govt assert that #annesacoolas had dip imm. @DominicRaab rolled over and agreed that position and let her go. They are both wrong in law. #harrydunn’s parents now call on UK Govt to openly declare they were wrong, seek an urgent court order to that effect and demand her return

— Radd Seiger (@RaddSeiger) May 4, 2020

“Mr Raab misled Parliament when he spoke in the House of Commons on October 21 and he must now withdraw that statement and I have invited him to do so.

“We cannot bring Harry back. But we can help alleviate some of their suffering by ensuring they get the justice they deserve, that every single one of us are entitled to.

“Mr Raab must now urgently seek an order from the High Court in London that Anne Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity, then formally demand that the US Government return her to face justice.”

The Foreign Office has been approached for comment.

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