Dominican Raab has urged the US to change its position over Anna Sacoolas, a US citizen, who is believed to have been involved in a crash that resulted in the death of 19-ear-old Harry Dunn in August. Mr Raab spoke with US Ambassador Woody Johnson yesterday and urged him to “do the right thing” by the family of Mr Dunn.
It is thought that Ms Sacoola was driving her car on the wrong side of the road after leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, a military base used by the US Air Force.
Ms Sacoola is reportedly married to a US intelligence official and was able to claim diplomatic immunity after a deal was put in place between the UK and the US which gives staff and their families based at RAF Creighton diplomatic immunity.
Being granted immunity meant Ms Sacoola was exempt from certain laws as prescribed by the state.
Now, the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Northamptonshire Police have asked the US to consider waiving the immunity of the alleged suspect and “to let justice prevail”.
Mr Raab also reportedly raised the case to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a phone call.
Nick Adderley, Northamptonshire Police’s chief constable, said US authorities had been appealed to “in the strongest terms” to apply for a waiver and “allow the justice process to take place”.
Ms Sacoolas had been helping the British police with their inquiries into the collision but returned to the US soon after.
US state department officials have expressed regret about Mr Dunn’s death but said it was global American policy not to issue immunity waivers in such cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also urged the US to think twice about its decision.
He said: “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.
“I think everybody’s sympathies are very much with the family of Harry Dunn and our condolences to them for their tragic loss.”
The immunity rule has since been fiercely contested recently for its apparent disregard for aspects of the law.
Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, diplomats and their family members are immune from prosecution in their host country, as long as they are not nationals of that country.
Their immunity can be waved, however, by the state that has sent them.
Mr Johnson added: “I hope Anne Sacoolas will come back and engage properly with the processes of law as they are carried out in this country.
“That’s a point we’ve raised or are raising today with the American ambassador here in the UK and I hope it will be resolved very shortly.
“If we can’t resolve it then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House.”
Following Mr Raabs’s meeting with the US ambassador, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “The Foreign Secretary met the US Ambassador today and urged the US to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn’s family.”
After the crash on August 27 Mr Dunn died in hospital after his Kawasaki motorbike collided with a Volvo XC90.
Based on CCTV evidence police investigators have revealed that on the night of the crash a vehicle had left the be “on the wrong side of the road”.
Supt Sarah Johnson said the police were collecting evidence with support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the RAF base and the Dunn family.
She said: “We’re going to make sure that we deal with the investigation in a way that we can take it through to prosecution.”
Mr Dunn’s parents have featured on several broadcast programmes in the past week, including the BBC’s Today Programme and ITV’s This Morning, talking about their son and their heartbreak over the death.