The United States refused to extradite a diplomat’s wife accused of killing a British teenager in a car crash. Anne Sacoolas fled the United Kingdom using diplomatic immunity after she was allegedly involved in a fatal road accident killing a British teenager Harry Dunn.
The accident took place near RAF Croughton, a British military base near Oxford, on August 27, when a car collided with 19-year-old Harry Dunn’s bike. Sacoolas fled the country when she was being treated as the prime suspect in the case and the police were preparing to arrest and interrogate the woman. Later she even admitted driving the car and was charged by the police with ‘causing death by dangerous driving’.
Britain has rebuked the US for declining to extradite Sacoolas after repeated requests, even by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson was not in favour of using “the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose”. Though the U.S. Embassy had offered its ‘deepest sympathies’, they were not on the same page with Boris Johnson, which has now become even more clearer after formal rejection.
Calling it a ‘denial of justice’, a spokesperson for the UK Home Office said that they are disappointed by this decision and are urgently considering their options. A family spokesperson of the 19-year-old Dunn said that they were “not at all surprised” by the decision. Earlier, the family had urged US President Donald Trump to let the woman get back to the UK and see what she has done to the family.
As per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, family members of diplomats living in other countries enjoy immunity from arrest in most of the cases. Under Article 32 of the Vienna convention, the immunity can be waived by the sending state and it must always be express. “Waiver of immunity from jurisdiction in respect of civil or administrative proceedings shall not be held to imply the waiver of immunity in respect of the execution of the judgement, for which a separate waiver shall be necessary,” reads Article 36(4).