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22 Jul, 2020 12:32

UK scraps ‘loophole’ that allowed American diplomat’s wife accused of teenager’s death to claim immunity, in new deal with US

UK scraps ‘loophole’ that allowed American diplomat’s wife accused of teenager’s death to claim immunity, in new deal with US

The UK government has removed a critical loophole which allowed a US diplomat’s wife, who is alleged to have caused the death of a British teenager, to claim immunity, in a new deal struck with Washington.

In a written statement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that the UK and US had amended the “anomaly,” after receiving fierce criticism from Harry Dunn’s family for failing to secure justice for their son.

Raab said the new agreement allows for the prosecution of family members of diplomatic staff, “should these tragic circumstances ever arise again.”

We have secured the agreement of the US so that the Croughton arrangements could not in future be used in the same way as in the tragic case of Harry Dunn.

Washington has refused to send back 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who was driving the car that reportedly crashed into 19-year-old Dunn’s motorbike outside RAF Croughton – the military base where her husband Jonathan was stationed – in Northamptonshire in August 2019.

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The move comes after Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, accused Raab of being a “lost child in an adult's world” for failing to secure the return of Sacoolas to the UK to face the British justice system.

Sacoolas returned to the US soon after the collision and subsequently claimed diplomatic immunity, provoking a diplomatic row between London and Washington.

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