Harry Dunn’s Parents absolve Northants Police of any Blame
Radd Seiger, adviser and spokesperson for the family of Harry Dunn said:
The parents of Harry Dunn formally announce that in light of the disclosure that has been given by the Foreign Secretary in the Judicial Review proceedings they have brought against him and Northamptonshire Police to challenge the Foreign Secretary’s decision to advise the police that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity, that they are now formally discontinuing the parts of their claim that are against the Police.
Having carefully reviewed the documents disclosed by the Foreign Secretary, the parents are now satisfied that the Police are absolved of any blame and could have done no more last August and September to ensure that Mrs Sacoolas was brought to justice. The documents clearly show that the Police investigation was effectively stopped in its tracks abruptly when the Foreign Office told the police shortly after Harry died that Mrs Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity, despite the fact that internal documents in the Foreign Office show that there was very real uncertainty about that. The documents reveal that the Foreign Office kept the police in the dark for 14 days over the uncertainty surrounding Mrs Sacoolas’ claim to immunity, failed to tell them that Mrs Sacoolas was planning to leave the country, and then did not tell the police that she had gone until the day after she left. In the United Kingdom, it is the police’s responsibility to establish who has diplomatic immunity, not the Foreign Secretary, yet he and his team did just that, the parents say unlawfully.
The claim against the Foreign Secretary therefore proceeds full steam ahead and at a court hearing last month, Harry’s parents were given permission to bring a case that the Foreign Secretary obstructed justice in allowing Mrs Sacoolas to leave and depriving the police of their ability to investigate the crash and bring anyone to justice. As we now know, when the police and CPS were eventually allowed to do their work, following the monumental campaign for justice the parents launched, in December 2019 they decided that Mrs Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity and charged her with causing death by dangerous driving. Had the Foreign Secretary allowed them to do their work immediately after Harry died, they would have reached the same conclusion and Mrs Sacoolas would have proceeded to face the justice system.
Northamptonshire Police issued a statement last week saying that they continue to work with the CPS to ensure that Mrs Sacoolas returns to the UK to face justice. There is no question that that is what she must do.
Following discussions with the police, they have now graciously confirmed that they will remain in the legal case as an interested party. An interested party is anyone who is directly affected by the claim, as the Police clearly are here, given the way they were treated by the Foreign Office and kept in the dark. In documents they have already filed at Court, they have adopted the parents’ arguments that the Foreign Secretary obstructed justice. Remaining in the case as an interested party allows the Police to supplement the evidence and documents available to the Court in order to ensure that it makes the correct decision at the full hearing in November.