The par­ents

British cou­ple ask Trump to waive im­mu­nity af­ter crash that killed son, 19

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEN­NIFER HAS­SAN jen­nifer.has­[email protected]­

of a British teen who po­lice say was killed by the wife of a U.S. diplo­mat in a wrong-way crash asked Pres­i­dent Trump to waive her im­mu­nity.

LON­DON — The dev­as­tated par­ents of a British teenager who po­lice say was killed by the wife of a U.S. diplo­mat in a wrong-way col­li­sion in Au­gust said Tues­day in a tele­vised in­ter­view that they are will­ing to travel to the United States to get jus­tice for their son.

Af­ter the crash, 42-year-old sus­pect Anne Sa­coolas claimed diplo­matic im­mu­nity un­der in­ter­na­tional law, al­low­ing her to avoid pros­e­cu­tion and fly home to the United States — de­spite telling British po­lice she had no plans to do so.

In the weeks since Harry Dunn, 19, died af­ter a Volvo SUV struck his mo­tor­cy­cle, his par­ents, Tim Dunn and Char­lotte Charles, have said they will not stop try­ing to ob­tain jus­tice. They have ap­pealed to British Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son and Pres­i­dent Trump to as­sist them in their quest.

Harry Dunn’s par­ents say they hope Trump will con­sider waiv­ing diplo­matic im­mu­nity so that Sa­coolas could be held ac­count­able in the British le­gal sys­tem. The U.S. Em­bassy noted in a state­ment that “im­mu­nity is rarely waived.”

“With the amount of diplo­mats we have in the U.K., we can’t have some­one go out and do some­thing like that again and leave an­other fam­ily to suf­fer,” Charles said in an in­ter­view Tues­day with the “BBC Break­fast” pro­gram.

The par­ents also said dur­ing the in­ter­view that they had heard “ab­so­lutely noth­ing” from the Sa­coolas fam­ily since the fa­tal col­li­sion near the Royal Air Force Croughton sta­tion, which is op­er­ated by the U.S. Air Force.

British news out­lets have re­ported that Sa­coolas and her diplo­mat hus­band had been in Bri­tain for only about three weeks when the crash oc­curred. Lo­cal po­lice said surveil­lance video showed that a ve­hi­cle left the Croughton base “on the wrong side of the road” on the night of the crash. Those fac­tors raised the prospect that the col­li­sion may have stemmed from the in­ex­pe­ri­ence of a mo­torist un­ac­cus­tomed to driv­ing on the left, as is the rule in Bri­tain.

The teenager’s death has sparked wide­spread out­rage in Bri­tain and, in re­cent days, has gar­nered in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est. Harry Dunn’s par­ents say they have re­ceived con­do­lences and sup­port­ive mes­sages from around the world.

John­son ex­pressed hope Mon­day that Sa­coolas would re­turn to Bri­tain and “en­gage prop­erly with the pro­cesses of law.” The prime min­is­ter added that he was will­ing to raise the case “per­son­ally with the White House,” if nec­es­sary.

In a tweet Tues­day, Woody John­son, the U.S. am­bas­sador to Bri­tain, said British For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab and his U.S. coun­ter­part, Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, had “dis­cussed the tragic death of a British cit­i­zen in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent on Au­gust 27 near Croughton” on Mon­day. “We once again ex­press our con­do­lences to the friends and fam­ily of Harry Dunn,” John­son said.

While Sa­coolas was named in British me­dia re­ports and by the prime min­is­ter as the per­son sus­pected of driv­ing the ve­hi­cle that knocked the 19-year-old off his mo­tor­cy­cle, the State De­part­ment on Mon­day de­clined to con­firm her in­volve­ment in the case.

Fam­ily mem­bers of diplo­mats liv­ing in other coun­tries are cov­ered by im­mu­nity un­der the 1961 Vi­enna Con­ven­tion on Diplo­matic Re­la­tions. In most cir­cum­stances, this al­lows them to avoid ar­rest for vir­tu­ally any crime. A coun­try can also waive its diplo­mats’ im­mu­nity if it so chooses.

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