You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Police join Dunn family legal action over crash suspect’s immunity

PA Media logoPA Media 14/01/2020 By Josh Payne, PA

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
(Video by Evening Standard)

The family of Harry Dunn have received a boost after the Northamptonshire Police chief said the force would take part in their legal claim contesting the diplomatic immunity granted to his alleged killer.

The PA news agency understands the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are set to claim they did not advise police that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley told the PA news agency he supported a request for his force to join the judicial review of the immunity that was granted to the suspect in the 19-year-old’s road crash death in August last year.

He added that the force would not seek to retrieve its costs from the family even if the legal claim was unsuccessful – despite the FCO looking to “seek costs”.

Deon Fourie posing for the camera in front of a brick wall: Teenager Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire (Family handout/PA) © Family handout Teenager Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire (Family handout/PA)

The family’s spokesman Radd Seiger previously said the case could cost the family upwards of £50,000 if it is appealed by the FCO and ends up in the Supreme Court.

Mr Seiger welcomed the police chief’s move on Tuesday, saying: “They rightly recognise major public interest issues are at stake.”

In documents seen by PA, the FCO have claimed that “the Secretary of State did not purport to advise the police as to the legal position in relation to Mrs Sacoolas’ immunity.”

In their challenge of the judicial review launched by the Dunn family, the FCO have also said that: “It was and is for the police, as the independent criminal investigator, to make their own decisions on matters affecting their investigation.”

PA understands the FCO allege that any statement provided to the Northamptonshire force would have been an “informal expression of opinion”.

Mr Dunn died after his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

Mrs Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US intelligence official, claimed diplomatic immunity after the collision and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

The claim against the FCO issued on behalf of Mr Dunn’s parents – Mr Dunn and Charlotte Charles – alleged the granting of diplomatic immunity to Mrs Sacoolas was “wrong in law”.

Harry Dunn mother Charlotte Charles and stepfather Bruce Charles outside the Ministry Of Justice in London after meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions. Anne Sacoolas has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after the car she was driving allegedly collided with 19-year-old Harry's motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27. (Photo by David Mirzoeff/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Harry Dunn mother Charlotte Charles and stepfather Bruce Charles outside the Ministry Of Justice in London after meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions. Anne Sacoolas has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after the car she was driving allegedly collided with 19-year-old Harry's motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27. (Photo by David Mirzoeff/PA Images via Getty Images)

They requested the Foreign Office withdraw advice provided to Northamptonshire Police surrounding the granting of diplomatic immunity to the suspect.

The family have said they are concerned Mr Raab was “pressured by the United States to interpret the law in a way which allowed her to escape justice”, a claim the FCO said was “entirely without foundation”.

The Home Office submitted an extradition request for Mrs Sacoolas on Friday after she was charged with causing the 19-year-old’s death by dangerous driving.

The US State Department has said the extradition request for Mrs Sacoolas is highly inappropriate and would be an abuse.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “right that we made the appeal for extradition” but also told BBC Breakfast that sending Mrs Sacoolas back to face justice was “not what (the US) do”.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley (Jacob King/PA) © Provided by PA Media Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley (Jacob King/PA)

Reacting to Mr Johnson’s comments from Denver in the US, the spokesman for the Dunn family, Radd Seiger, told PA: “I do not know what is in the Prime Minister’s mind in making those comments because the parents and I have not yet had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him but we expect to do so within the next few days.

“Certainly, if he is basing those comments on what is currently emanating from Washington he may well be right.

“However, the extradition request has now been delivered and therefore the legal process has commenced – Mr Johnson’s officials have been working extremely hard over the last few months to prepare a thorough and diligent case.”

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon