Harry Dunn's parents repeat call for alleged killer to return after first High Court appearance

Judges dismiss requests for more documents in preliminary hearing - but the fight is far from over
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Harry Dunn's parents repeated their plea for the UK and United States governments to work together to ensure their son's alleged killer faces justice after the first High Court hearing on the case today (Thursday, June 18).

Lord Justice Flaux and Mr Justice Saini dismissed the Northamptonshire family's request for more documents from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the case management conference.

A full, two-day hearing will be held later this year to hear the campaigner's case against the Government and Northamptonshire Police over the decision to grant Anne Sacoolas diplomatic immunity.

Harry DunnHarry Dunn
Harry Dunn

Harry's family's spokesman, Radd Seiger, tweeted: "Following today's hearing, where the court made it clear that the parents do not need any further docs to prove that Anne Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity and that they are free to bring a case against [Foreign Secretary] Dominic Raab that he obstructed the police investigation.

"Charlotte [Charles, Harry's mother,] and Tim [Dunn, Harry's father] reissue their appeal to [US] President [Donald] Trump, Boris Johnson and Anne Sacoolas to work together to ensure that Mrs Sacoolas returns soon to face justice so that all parties can get closure and move on with their lives."

The court heard the circumstances of Harry's death after his motorcycle was involved in a collision with Sacoolas' car, which she has admitted was on the wrong side of the road, near Croughton on August 27, 2019.

The American driver initially co-operated with police but then told officers she had diplomatic immunity before flying back to the United States on September 15.

Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in November but an extradition request by the Home Office was rejected by the US government in January.

Harry's family claim the Foreign Office wrongly obstructed Northamptonshire Police's investigation into the crash by agreeing with the American lawyers' interpretation of the law that Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.

That decision put a holt to the officers' questioning and potential charging of Sacoolas, the only suspect.

They argue this should have been up to the police to decide, especially as it was based on an 'anomaly' in the secret diplomatic agreement over US personnel at RAF Croughton, as Mr Raab described it in the House of Commons.

In a so-called 'exchange of notes' made in 1995, the two countries agree that privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations applied to administrative and technical staff, such as Sacoolas’s husband Jonathan, at the airbase near Brackley.

But it was agreed that they would not be immune from prosecution for actions taken outside of their prescribed duties, such as dangerous driving.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, representing Harry's family, said: "Essentially they prophesied exactly what happened in this case."

The Foreign Office argues that because Sacoolas was notified to them as a spouse and dependants were not mentioned in the exchange of notes, her immunity was not pre-waived.

Sir James Eadie, representing the Government, denied any wrongdoing from the secretary of state and said they had handed over all of the documents they needed.

The judges also dismissed the application for expert diplomatic evidence from Sir Ivor Roberts before agreeing to hold the full hearing sometime between October and November.