Twist in immunity claim
Justice: Grieving family say FCO has told them US suspect is not covered
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