Chief constable demands US waive crash suspect's immunity
Oct. 06, 2019
A chief constable has written to the US embassy urging them “in the strongest terms” that the wife of an American diplomat return to the UK following a fatal hit-and-run.
Nick Adderley is the most senior police officer in the Northamptonshire force, which is investigating the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn .
Mr Dunn of Charlton, Banbury, died after his motorbike collided with a car close to RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, on August 27.
The diplomat’s wife, who is a suspect in the case, left the UK despite telling police she had no plans to.
Mr Adderley was asked on Twitter whether the woman was lawfully entitled to claim diplomatic immunity.
He replied: "The short answer is yes," adding that both he and Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold “had written, in the strongest terms, urging to the US Embassy urging them to apply the diplomatic immunity waiver in order to allow the justice process to take place.”
An embassy spokesman said on Saturday immunity is rarely waived.
"Any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry; immunity is rarely waived.
"The US Embassy has been and will continue to be in close contact with appropriate British officials."
Mr Dunn's family have also made an emotional plea for the woman to return to the UK.
Speaking to the PM Programme on BBC Radio 4, Mr Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles said: "We're really hoping to try to get her back, from me as a mum, to her, as a mum, you just hope that he [Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab] can try to get through to her, that we don't wish her any ill harm, but we don't understand how she can just get on a plane and leave our family just utterly devastated.
"If we don't get any luck over here, then we will go over there."
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also called the US ambassador to ask the embassy to "reconsider" its decision.
Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, met with Mr Dunn's family and said they are "totally heartbroken".
She added: "We have to get proper justice for Harry and closure for his family."