Family in diplomatic immunity row ‘angry and frustrated’ after Raab meeting

October 9, 2019 4:46:34 PM

Family in diplomatic immunity row ‘angry and frustrated’ after Raab meeting

The family at the centre of a row over diplomatic immunity after their son died in a car crash have said they are “angry and frustrated” following a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27 and the suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash.

The car was thought to have been driving on the wrong side of the road after leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a military base used by the US Air Force.

Mr Raab met Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, and father, Tim Dunn, on Wednesday afternoon after having talks with US Ambassador Woody Johnson on Tuesday.

Giving a statement on behalf of the family, spokesman Radd Seiger said: “To say we are disappointed with the outcome would be an understatement. We are frustrated. We are angry.”

Speaking to reporters outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following the meeting with Mr Raab, Mr Seiger added: “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and that we’ve had that time with him.”

“We need some time to gather our thoughts and compose ourselves. We just need about an hour or so to gather our thoughts,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Raab and Northamptonshire Police have asked the US to consider waiving the immunity.

It has since emerged that Mrs Sacoolas was previously handed a fine for “failure to pay full time and attention” while driving in the state of Virginia in 2006.

Prior to meeting the US Ambassador, Mr Raab raised the case in a telephone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

After Tuesday’s meeting, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “The Foreign Secretary met the US Ambassador today and urged the US to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn’s family.”

On Monday, the Prime Minister also urged the US to reconsider its decision to give immunity to the diplomat’s wife, saying: “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.”

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said US authorities had been appealed to in “the strongest terms” to apply a waiver and “allow the justice process to take place” after Mrs Sacoolas left the UK despite telling officers she did not plan to do so.