Diplomatic Immunity loophole closed in wake of Harry Dunne death

The loophole that allowed a US diplomat’s wife to flee to the US after the death of Harry Dunne has now been closed

Harry Dunn

THE anomalous loophole that allowed Anne Sacoolas to flee to the US in the wake of the death of Northamptonshire teenager Harry Dunne has been closed.

The amendment means from now on the families of US staff located at the base can face prosecution in the UK courts. Previously the staff’s families were also covered by the veil of diplomatic immunity, something Mrs Sacoolas used in 2019.

While Harry Dunne's family denies the change will prevent them from campaigning for Mrs Sacoolas to return to the UK to face justice, they welcomed the news, with Harry’s mum saying he’s ‘be proud’ of what had been achieved.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the new arrangements had "closed the anomaly that led to the denial of justice in the heartbreaking case of Harry Dunn".

He said he appreciated the changes "won't bring Harry back" but hoped they may "bring some small measure of comfort" to his family.

The US State Department said the amendment was a "reflection of our especially close relationship" with the UK.

Northamptonshire Police said it understood that the change was not retrospective but welcomed the change. It also stated that it would continue working with British prosecutors to ensure Mrs Sacoolas was returned from the US to face court proceedings.

Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving after colliding with Harry’s motorcycle in August last year. Despite being ordered by police not to leave the UK, Sacoolas is believed to have fled the country on a US Air Force flight in the days after the crash. It is reported she was driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision. Since the incident, other vehicles spotted around the base have been caught on camera driving in the same manner. It is not known if they were US Air Force staff stationed at the base or not.