General

Trump defends alleged diplomatic death driver

Donald Trump has stood up for a suspected driver in fatal collision case after the suspect left the UK under the veil of diplomatic immunity

US President Donald Trump has weighed in on a row over diplomatic immunity this week. In a speech at the White House, he said, ‘we’ve all don’t it’, after a US diplomat is alleged to have been driving on the wrong side of the road is the suspect in a crash that caused the death of a young British motorcyclist.  

Harry Dunn was travelling close to RAF Croughton, an airforce base that houses both the RAF and also a US communications officials. CCTV evidence from the scene shows a black Volvo XC90 leaving the base and set off driving on the wrong side of the road.

After the crash, the suspected driver in the incident was named as Anne Sacoolas, and despite being asked to remain in the UK, she left the country, allegedly on a private flight that took off from a US airbase.

The incident has received widespread coverage, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even stepping in to ask the US president to reconsider the decision to allow the suspect to hide behind diplomatic immunity.

Speaking to the press at the White House, Trump said the crash was a "terrible accident" and confirmed he or his team would be in contact with Ms. Sacoolas.

He went on to say:

“You know, those are the opposite roads [we drive on the left and in the states on the right], that happens. I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did.

“So, a young man was killed, the person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity, we're going to speak to her very shortly and see if we can do something where they meet.”

Harry Dunn’s parents are planning on flying to Washington as soon as possible, in an effort to pressure the Trump administration into following up on the president's promise.

What is diplomatic immunity?

Diplomatic immunity was officialised in the 1961 Vienna Convention, although it had been an unofficial concept that dates back hundreds of years.

It basically means that any means that diplomats and their families (if they are too granted immunity) cannot be arrested or prosecuted for any crime or civil case.

That is not to say they have a green light to commit crimes across the country though, foreign diplomats are still expected to follow the laws of the country they are in.

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