PM’S plea to US to re­think im­mu­nity over crash

● Diplo­mat’s wife leaves coun­try ● PM: ‘I will raise case with White House’

The Scotsman - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH PAYNE

Boris John­son has urged the US to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion to give im­mu­nity to a diplo­mat’s wife wanted by British po­lice over a road crash that killed a teenager.

Po­lice have writ­ten to the US em­bassy in Lon­don to de­mand im­mu­nity is waived for 42-yearold Anne Sa­coolas, who left the UK af­ter the crash de­spite telling of­fi­cers she did not plan to do so.

Harry Dunn died on 27 Au­gust af­ter his mo­tor­bike col­lided with a car close to RAF Croughton in Northamp­ton­shire, a mil­i­tary base used by the US air force.

Boris John­son has urged the US to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion to give im­mu­nity to a diplo­mat’s wife wanted by British po­lice over a road crash that killed a teenager.

Vow­ing to raise the case of 19-year-old Harry Dunn with the White House if nec­es­sary, Mr John­son said: “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplo­matic im­mu­nity for this type of pur­pose.”

Po­lice have writ­ten to the US em­bassy in Lon­don to de­mand im­mu­nity is waived for 42-year-old Anne Sa­coolas, who left the UK af­ter the crash de­spite telling of­fi­cers she did not plan to do so.

Harry, of Ban­bury, died on 27 Au­gust af­ter his mo­tor­bike col­lided with a car close to RAF Croughton in Northamp­ton­shire, a mil­i­tary base used by the US air force.

Ms Sa­coolas is be­lieved to have been driv­ing on the wrong side of the road.

Northamp­ton­shire’s chief con­sta­ble Nick Ad­der­ley said US au­thor­i­ties had been ap­pealed to in “the strong­est terms” to “al­low the jus­tice process to take place”.

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.”

The US em­bassy con­firmed the in­ci­dent had in­volved a ve­hi­cle driven by the spouse of a US diplo­mat who had de­parted the coun­try, but added that diplo­matic im­mu­nity was “rarely waived”.

Re­fer­ring to the diplo­mat’s wife, Mr Ad­der­ley said: “Dur­ing the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion we were given some as­sur­ances by the Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties that she would co-op­er­ate fully with the po­lice and ... that she would not be leav­ing the com­mu­nity, and would not be leav­ing the coun­try, and then the next minute we found out that, ac­tu­ally, she and her fam­ily had left. So, it was re­ally dis­ap­point­ing.”

Harry’s mother Char­lotte Charles said: “We’re not a hor­ri­ble fam­ily. We’re a usual UK fam­ily that just need to put a face to what we have now as a name. Talk to her, find out how she’s feel­ing. She’s got to be suf­fer­ing as well. With­out know­ing who this per­son is prop­erly, we can’t be­gin to try and start our griev­ing process.”

Ms Charles said: “If we have to we will go to Wash­ing­ton. We don’t want it to have to come to that, we don’t see why it should have to come to that... we just want to sit and talk with her.

“We just don’t un­der­stand how you can just get on a plane and leave be­hind the dev­as­ta­tion she has with­out even speak­ing to us or fac­ing us.”

0 Harry Dunn died in crash in­volv­ing US diplo­mat’s wife

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