Twist in im­mu­nity claim

Jus­tice: Griev­ing fam­ily say FCO has told them US sus­pect is not cov­ered

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JOSH PAYNE

The fam­ily of 19-yearold Harry Dunn said the For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice (FCO) has writ­ten to them to say a US sus­pect in the case does not have diplo­matic im­mu­nity.

The teenager died when his mo­tor­bike was in col­li­sion with a car out­side RAF Croughton in Northamp­ton­shire on Au­gust 27.

Sus­pect Anne Sa­coolas, 42 – re­port­edly mar­ried to a US in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial – was granted diplo­matic im­mu­nity af­ter the crash.

But fam­ily spokesman Radd Seiger said For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab has writ­ten to Mr Dunn’s fam­ily about Mrs Sa­coolas, say­ing: “The US have now in­formed us that they too con­sider that im­mu­nity is no longer per­ti­nent.”

The let­ter, sent by Do­minic Raab to the fam­ily, said: “We have pressed strongly for a waiver of im­mu­nity, so that jus­tice can be done. Whilst the US gov­ern­ment has stead­fastly de­clined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the mat­ter. We have looked at this very care­fully. The UK Gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion is that im­mu­nity, and there­fore any ques­tion of waiver, is no longer rel­e­vant in Mrs Sa­coolas’ case be­cause she has re­turned home.” Mr Raab said the mat­ter was now “in the hands” of Northamp­ton­shire Po­lice and the CPS.

An FCO spokesman told the PA news agency that the of­fice “would not be com­ment­ing fur­ther on the con­tent of the let­ter”.

Be­fore the let­ter was sent by the FCO, the fam­ily’s lawyer Mark Stephens told PA: “We know defini­tively that this guy was not a diplo­mat and there­fore was not en­ti­tled to diplo­matic im­mu­nity.”

Mrs Sa­coolas’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Amy Jef­fress, from the law firm Arnold and Porter, said: “Anne is dev­as­tated by this tragic ac­ci­dent. No loss com­pares to the death of a child and Anne ex­tends her deep­est sym­pa­thy to Harry Dunn’s fam­ily.”

Mr Seiger said in a state­ment that he had spo­ken with Ms Jef­fress and the pair had agreed “to get to­gether asap ... to dis­cuss how we are go­ing to achieve a so­lu­tion”.

He was study­ing the FCO let­ter “with le­gal and po­lit­i­cal ex­perts” to “fully un­der­stand where that leaves us”.

Mrs Sa­coolas’s lawyer said Mrs Sa­coolas spoke with “au­thor­i­ties” at the scene of the crash and met Northamp­ton Po­lice at her home the fol­low­ing day.

“She will con­tinue to co-op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” added the lawyer.

MAK­ING CASE: Spokesman Radd Seiger for the fam­ily of Harry Dunn, flanked by Harry’s mother Char­lotte Charles and fa­ther Tim Dunn

Biker Harry Dunn died in a crash out­side an air­base

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