United Kingdom urges USA to rethink immunity for diplomat's wife after crash
Oct 08 2019
The wife of a USA diplomat claimed "immunity" and fled the United Kingdom after becoming a suspect in an August hit-and-run that killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn.
His Kawasaki motorbike hit a Volvo SUV travelling in the opposite direction, according to local police, who confirmed that a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in their investigations had left Britain.
Superintendent Sarah Johnson said: "Northamptonshire Police followed all of its usual procedures following the incident, including liaising closely with the suspect, who engaged fully with us at the time and had previously confirmed to us that she had no plans to leave the country in the near future".
Also on Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement that he had expressed his "disappointment" to the USA ambassador about her departure.
The accident left a 19-year-old man dead after his motorcycle collided with a vehicle near RAF Croughton, a British military base near Oxford that houses a USA signals intelligence station.
"Any inquiries pertaining to a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their spouse and children users overseas in a situation like this receive extreme attention at senior ranges and are considered cautiously provided the world-wide effects these kinds of decisions have", a U.S. Embassy spokesperson reported.
Ms Charles said that if the American woman was not willing to return to the United Kingdom, then 'we would probably go over to the States and do whatever we can over there.
"I wish to offer my condolences to the family affected by this tragic incident", he said.
Police said they wanted to interview an American woman in her 40s. She told the BBC: 'We want him [Raab] to get her back.
Charlotte Charles, whose 19-year-old son, Harry was killed in August, has criticised the USA embassy for refusing to lift her diplomatic immunity status.
Mr Seiger said Mrs Charles is due to speak to American TV broadcasters this weekend in the hope of raising the family's cause in Washington.
Mr Raab also urged the USA to reconsider its decision to let the diplomat's wife use her diplomatic immunity to leave Britain.
"We're a family in ruin", Charlotte Charles told Sky News Friday. "We have nothing to put our minds at rest that she's even remorseful".
He added that Mr Dunn's parents are hoping to meet with Mr Raab next week.
Rayner added in another tweet: "My son is 22 and this story has really got to me as I can not even imagine the pain this family is going through".