Harry Dunn's family launch legal action against the Foreign Office

28 November 2019, 05:34

The family of Harry Dunn have launched legal action against Dominic Raab
The family of Harry Dunn have launched legal action against Dominic Raab. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The family of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn have launched a legal action against the Foreign Office which they said could cost them "upwards of £50,000".

Harry was killed when his motorbike was involved in a head-on crash with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

Anne Sacoolas, the motorist allegedly responsible for the crash, claimed diplomatic immunity and was allowed to return to the US, sparking an international controversy.

His parents, Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles, have filed High Court papers for a judicial review against Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Family spokesman Radd Seiger said the FCO's interpretation of diplomatic immunity laws was "absurd in practice and wrong in law."

He said: "The parents have done everything physically within their power to avoid having to sue the FCO.

"There have been repeated public and private attempts on our part to engage with those in authority to resolve this dispute amicably."

19-year-old Harry was riding his motorbike when he died
19-year-old Harry was riding his motorbike when he died. Picture: Facebook

Mr Seiger said the family's legal team has advised them "the FCO's interpretation of the diplomatic immunity laws and treaty is absurd in practice and wrong in law".

The Foreign Office said last month it would "seek costs" for any judicial review brought and argued the family has not found "any reasonably arguable ground of legal challenge".

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has defended the decision, saying the government has to "protect taxpayer's money".

It comes just a month after he said there would be "no obstacles to justice".

Mr Dunn's mother called the claims made by the FCO "completely disgusting" and said the family has been "misled" by Mr Raab.

An FCO spokesperson told LBC News that it is "normal government policy" to seek legal costs in cases such as this."

The family said the cost of the case could be "upwards of £50,000".

A spokesman for the FCO said: "We have deep sympathy for Harry's family. We have done and will continue to do everything we properly can to ensure that justice is done.

"As the Foreign Secretary set out in Parliament, the individual involved had diplomatic immunity whilst in the country under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

On Monday, Harry Dunn's father Tim Dunn attempted to speak to Mr Raab at his constituency hustings in Surrey.

A member of staff at the church where the hustings were held said he was kept outside due to fire safety.