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Britain and the US agree to change the "anomaly" that allowed Harry Dunn's "killer" Anne Sacoolas to flee the UK


Harry Dunn's parents said closing a void that their son's alleged murderer could claim diplomatic immunity was a "big step forward."

Officials today announced plans to remedy the "anomaly" that gave RAF Croughton staff members immunity.

Harry died near the U.S. base in Northamptonshire after his motorcycle crashed into a Volvo driven by Anne Sacoolas – the wife of an American diplomat – on the wrong side of the road and fled across the Atlantic and never returned.

Following the announcement, Harry's mother Charlotte Charles said it was a "big step forward" – adding that one of the family's goals was "never to happen to another family again".

19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a car outside a U.S. military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year

After the announcement, Harry's mother Charlotte Charles (left with Harry's stepfather Bruce) said it was one

Following the announcement, Harry's mother Charlotte Charles (left with Harry's stepfather Bruce) said it was a "big step forward" – adding that one of the family's goals was to "never do it to another family again".

She said: “We are very happy and very proud of what we parents have achieved.

“One of the goals of our campaign was to make sure that no other family could suffer like us.

"Harry would be very proud of us above all, but we still have a long way to go – we still have to get Anne Sacoolas back."

Every other US base in the UK has been covered by an agreement on the status of the armed forces, which means that military personnel and his family can be prosecuted.

A secret pact signed in 1995 and updated six years later granted immunity to Croughton administrative and technical personnel and the workers themselves when they were on duty.

However, today's announcement means that all US workers employed there and their family members can now be prosecuted, which brings them in line with other bases.

However, according to the Northamptonshire police, the changes will not be retroactive.

The changes come too late for Mr. Dunn's grieving family.

The change comes too late for the grieving family of Mr. Dunn, whose alleged murderer Anne Sacoolas, as shown, has fled across the Atlantic to an American diplomat and has not returned

The change comes too late for the grieving family of Mr. Dunn, whose alleged murderer Anne Sacoolas, as shown, has fled across the Atlantic to an American diplomat and has not returned

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced today the end of the lower house gap

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced today the end of the lower house gap

The gap through which Harry Dunn's alleged murderer could flee

The majority of US bases in the UK have been covered by an agreement on the status of the armed forces, which means that military personnel and his family can be prosecuted in certain circumstances.

A unique, secret pact relating to RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, in which Harry Dunn was killed last year, was closed in 1995 and updated six years later to give immunity to administrative and technical personnel at that particular base of immunity workers on duty .

However, today's announcement means that all US workers employed there and their family members can now be prosecuted, which brings them in line with other bases.

However, the changes will not be retroactive, meaning that Britain is still essentially unable to take criminal action against Anne Sacoolas, the American diplomat's wife who drove the car that crashed into Mr. Dunn, and later fled across the Atlantic.

Mr. Dunn's family tried to find out details of the secret pact at a preliminary hearing in June. Lord Justice Flaux and Mr. Justice Saini rejected the Federal Foreign Office's request for further evidence before a full hearing.

Another document released by the Federal Foreign Office (FCO) – a text message to Sir Tony Baldry, then junior FCO minister in May 1995 – reveals concerns that “an accident with immunity claims could make local, if not national, headlines & # 39 ;.

In his written statement, Mr. Raab said: “First and foremost, the United States' waiver of criminal justice is now being explicitly extended to the family members of US employees in the Croughton Annex, thereby ending the anomaly in the previous agreements and allowing the criminal Prosecution of the family members of these employees should these tragic circumstances ever recur.

& # 39; We have the deepest sympathy for Harry Dunn's family. No family should have to know what they went through and I realize that these changes won't bring Harry back.

"However, I hope that knowing that the Croughton regulations have been revised and that a family would now see justice in their position brings a small amount of comfort."

Radd Seiger, a spokesman for the Dunn family, told Mail Online: “The parents are thrilled and overjoyed with the tremendous development that they have closed this ridiculous gap at RAF Croughton that has allowed diplomatic spouses to kill our children and go unpunished to walk away.

"We have to pay tribute to the Foreign Minister and his team for negotiating this agreement. We are also very grateful to the parents for running this campaign and the judicial review. Without these, they would not have ensured the release of the secret agreements regarding RAF Croughton.

& # 39; Harry's parents, in their deepest, darkest hour in the past few months, have put their lives to work for the good of other families so that it doesn't happen again.

Exceptionally, the Americans still refuse to send Anne Sacoolas back and imagine how outrageous it was that this agreement was reached in July, and then rely on a void when Harry dies that is not in accordance with the international order or the norms.

At our meeting today with Mr. Raab, we asked him to make it absolutely clear to the Americans that they have to come back, and if they don't, there will be ramifications. We could suspend the extradition treaty with the United States or stop expanding its bases here. & # 39;

In a statement, the Northamptonshire police said: "The Northamptonshire police were informed today by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that they have reached an agreement with the United States government to provide immunity for RAF Croughton embassy officials, officials and family members Restrict criminal jurisdiction.

& # 39; Although we understand that these changes will not be retroactive, the Northamptonshire Police welcome these changes.

The family of Harry Dunn (left to right), Tim Dunn (Harry's father), Charlotte Charles (Harry's mother), Tracey Dunn and Bruce Charles

The family of Harry Dunn (left to right), Tim Dunn (Harry's father), Charlotte Charles (Harry's mother), Tracey Dunn and Bruce Charles

"The Northamptonshire police are continuing to work with prosecutors to ensure that Anne Sacoolas returns from the United States to initiate criminal proceedings here in the UK."

In the meantime, the US State Department described the change in RAF Croughton's diplomatic immunity regime as "an expression of our particularly close relationship" with Britain.

A spokesman said: “Under the agreement, the United States has extended the preventive, limited waiver of certain diplomatic immunities regarding the Croughton Embassy Office and their family members for acts outside of official duties or after July 20 2020.

"This agreement reflects our particularly close relationship with the UK government."

Last month, Mr. Dunn's parents lost a fight to the Supreme Court to force the Federal Foreign Office to reveal documents related to the "secret immunity agreement" agreed with Sacoolas after she fled the country.

Sacoolas, whose husband Jonathan Sacoolas worked as a technical assistant at the base, claimed diplomatic immunity after the crash and was able to return to the United States.

The 42-year-old was accused of causing death from dangerous driving in December, but the USA refused an extradition request the following month.

Her lawyer has stated that she will not return voluntarily to possibly go to prison for "a terrible but unintentional accident".

Ms Charles and Tim Dunn have said they are taking legal action against Mr Raab and the Northamptonshire police and allege that they have allowed Sacoolas to leave the UK unlawfully.

After a preliminary June hearing by video call, Lord Justice Flaux and Justice Saini rejected the Federal Foreign Office's request for further evidence to be released prior to a full hearing.

The secret deal was originally signed between Britain and the United States in 1995 and updated in 2001.

An agreement on the immunity of administrative and technical staff at RAF Croughton was made in a so-called "Exchange of Notes".

However, another document published by the Federal Foreign Office (FCO) – a letter to Sir Tony Baldry, then junior FCO minister, in May 1995 – raised concerns that an accident that claimed immunity could, if not, affect the locals national headlines ”.

Sir Tony said in a testimony in the High Court case that he believed that FCO attorneys at the time "had not created a situation in which immunity was removed for agents outside of work, but not for their spouses."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to London for talks with Boris Johnson yesterday, where a spokeswoman for Downing Street said the prime minister "reaffirmed the need to bring justice to Harry Dunn and his family."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to London for talks with Boris Johnson yesterday, where a spokeswoman for Downing Street said the prime minister "reaffirmed the need to bring justice to Harry Dunn and his family."

Commenting on the announcement of RAF Croughton's immunity agreements, the Secretary of State said, "It is important that we have now agreed to the new US agreements that closed the anomaly that led to the denial of justice in the heartbreaking case has from Harry Dunn.

& # 39; The new regulations mean that it cannot happen again.

"I know that these changes won't bring Harry back and I appreciate the pain and suffering the family is still going through.

"But I hope this brings some comfort, because I know they want to prevent another family from going through the same ordeal they have."

The announcement comes just a few days after Mr. Raab warned that there are "no measures" that Britain could realistically take to force the United States to extradite Sacoolas.

He said that although Mr. Dunn's case had been a "denial of justice", the United Kingdom had not forced the suspect to comply with the authorities.

The case was also discussed yesterday by Boris Johnson and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited London for talks with the Prime Minister.

A spokeswoman for Downing Street said: "The Prime Minister reaffirmed the need to create justice for Harry Dunn and his family. He said there is a strong feeling among people in Britain that justice must be done. & # 39;

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