High Court immunity case over Harry Dunn death rules against the family

The parents of Harry Dunn have lost their High Court battle against the Foreign Office over whether the alleged killer had diplomatic immunity

THE parents of Harry Dunn have lost a High Court case against the Foreign Office concerning the diplomatic immunity of the driver that allegedly killed the teen.

The case sought to focus on Anne Sacoolas, the 43-year-old who was alleged to have been at the wheel when Dunn’s motorcycle was hit. CCTV footage from near RAF Croughton showed her leaving the military base on the incorrect side of the road shortly before the crash.

Sacoolas’ husband is a high-ranking military officer who was stationed at the base and despite being advised by the police not to go anywhere, she left on a US Air Force flight shortly after the crash. She managed to escape the UK under the veil of diplomatic immunity, something that Harry Dunn’s parents and legal team disputed.

The case the family brought to court centered on an agreement between the UK and the US first drawn up in 1995. It granted immunity to administrative and technical staff at the RAF base, which the US waived in relation to "acts performed outside the course of their duties". As the incident took place outside the air force base, they argued that the case for immunity did not stand.

Despite this, an extradition request for Miss Sacoolas to return to the UK and face trial, after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December 2019, was declined by the Home Office.

Lawyers for Mr Dunn (Harry’s father) and Mrs Charles (his mother) argued that the Foreign Office "took upon itself the authority to resolve the question of immunity and ultimately and unlawfully decided to accept the US embassy's decision that Anne Sacoolas had immunity".

Despite the ruling, Mrs Charles remains resolute in her bid to get justice for her son: "The government and Mrs Sacoolas need to understand that this court ruling is just a blip along the way. I promised my boy I would get him justice and that is just what we are going to do. No-one is going to stand in our way". She added: "It's obviously disappointing that this court did not find in our favour but we are more focused now than ever on fulfilling our promise".

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said Mr Dunn and Mrs Charles would be appealing against the ruling.


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