Jonathan Sacoolas Is Not, and Has Never Been, a Diplomat 432


UPDATE: Since I published this article the mainstream media, including at least Sky News and the Guardian, have started to report that Sacoolas does not have diplomatic immunity. This is a massive reversal in the MSM line, though to date none have published that he works for NSA or explained the NSA/GCHQ relationship. The MSM are all quoting the lawyer Mark Stephens, rather than this blog, as the source of the information. I would gently note that I can so far find no evidence of Stephens pointing out Sacoolas is not on the Diplomatic List until some hours after I broke the story, and that when he gave radio interviews yesterday Stephens was unaware of the fact.

Ultimately however it does not matter that I am not credited; what matters is my lead has in practice been followed and there is now a much stronger point of pressure available to get justice for Harry Dunn.
END OF UPDATE

There is no Jonathan Sacoolas on the official Diplomatic list. Neither Sacoolas nor his wife has any right to claim diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention.

Article 31 of the Vienna Convention states that:

A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state

Article 37 extends this privilege to family members living in his household. A “diplomatic agent” is defined in article 2(d).

The “members of the diplomatic staff” are the members of the staff of the mission having diplomatic rank;

Jonathan Sacoolas does not hold, and has never held, a diplomatic rank. He has never been a member of staff of a diplomatic mission. (All those with diplomatic rank appear in the diplomatic list, see above link. That list also includes some attaches who do not have diplomatic rank (depending on the type of attache), but there is nobody with diplomatic rank not in the list).

Jonathan Sacoolas does not have, and has never had, any entitlement to diplomatic immunity in international law. Sacoolas works as an NSA technical officer at the communications interceptions post at “RAF Croughton”. His role is support to the interception of communications from British citizens. As I explained in Murder in Samarkand, the NSA and GCHQ share all intelligence reports, but each faces legal constraints on mass spying on its own citizens. So the NSA has staff here fronting the spying on British citizens, while GCHQ has staff in the US fronting the spying on US citizens, and the polite fiction is that the results are transmitted back over the Atlantic to the US or UK respectively, before being “shared” with the partner intelligence agency.

None of which has anything to do with diplomacy, and Sacoolas must be the subject of a DSMA notice given that all mainstream media are referring to him constantly as a “diplomat”, when they all know that is not true. The irony is of course that if Sacoolas actually was a real diplomat, the US would very probably have waived the diplomatic immunity of his wife, as the issues around his presence and function would be much less sensitive.

The UK has no Vienna Convention obligation to acknowledge the “immunity” of Sacoolas’ wife, contrary to all reporting to date. What does apparently exist between the UK and US is a secret, bilateral agreement to treat GCHQ and NSA staff as if they had diplomatic immunity. That is not at all the same thing as Vienna Convention protection under international law. I cannot conceive the grief of Harry Dunn’s parents, but I do hope that they are not deceived by the pretence at intervention in this case by Johnson and Raab.

I am not at all convinced, as a matter of law, that the government has the power to grant, by bilateral treaty or otherwise, immunity from criminal prosecution to foreign nationals, plainly outside the provisions of the Vienna Convention. This should be tested by the courts.

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432 thoughts on “Jonathan Sacoolas Is Not, and Has Never Been, a Diplomat

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  • Tony Gilmore

    This has been an ongoing issue with road traffic accidents involving American service personnel as long as I can remember. Having grown up near USAF Upper Heyford I saw regular incidents of servicemen involved in RTAs regularly whisked back Stateside sometimes within 24hr. The only surprise in this case is that has attained such a high profile. I wouldn’t hold out much hope of justice.

    • Hatuey

      You’d think the general public would be disturbed to hear that the US was spying on British people on behalf of the British government, and vice versa.

      The more I learn, the more I realise that ordinary people are the biggest obstacle to progress. The governments, corporations, and other evil-doers of the world, wouldn’t last 5 minutes if ordinary people woke up and resisted them.

      Maybe they’ll wake up when their under 40 foot of water, mushrooms clouds, or some sort of neo-Nazi dictatorship. Any day now, basically.

      • SA

        The general public probably thinks it is a good thing that our government and that of the US are spying on us to keep us safe from those pesky Ruskies.

      • Shatnersrug

        Hautey, I am at a point where I agree with you people of This country (and I include Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish) are complacent, have lazy thinking and generally speaking deserve the government we get.

        • Herbie

          Yeahbut.

          That’s the whole point of media in a democracy.

          I mean, most people still think 20C Western culture just emerged organically.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        The general public remains for the most part completely unaware of such things. Where would they learn about them?

  • Hansabe

    “…the purpose of such privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions as representing States”
    exact words on both the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR).
    VCDR http://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/9_1_1961.pdf (Page2)
    VCCR http://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/9_2_1963.pdf (Page2)
    if they want to stand the claim of ‘diplomatic immunity’ then here you go. ! justice must prevail !

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Craig

    They are many unprincipled parasites in the media, some even take pleasure in saying they will print stories copying other peoples original work.

    There are some blogs which suppress really original comments so they can steal the comments to repackage as insights of their own old boys’ club.

    Then there are political parties who are basically on the scrounge for policies as they are too lazy/thick to dream them up themselves. Never expect any acknowledgement there either.

    Finally there are organisations that solicit original entries to competitions as a means to provide free ideas to parasitic judges.

    It msy be universal, but Britain is supremely parastic and anti-intellectual in this regard, promoting biddable scroungers whilst marginalising original thought. Even science research when I practiced it was a vipers nest of those looking for ideas they could repackage as their own….

  • remember kronstadt

    Haven’t heard ‘one law for them and another for us’? Caesar’s children are mighty special.

    • glenn_uk

      It was, at one time, a single law for rich and poor alike, which prohibited them equally from stealing bread and sleeping under bridges. Orwell.

      In the US there has been established three tiers of justice. If you’re rich, you can get away with anything at all – apart from ripping off other rich people of course, so Bernie Madoff had performed a true faux pas there.

      In the middle to upper middle classes, it depends how much justice you can afford.

      At the bottom end of the economic scale, particularly if you’re the wrong colour, forget about it. You _will_ go to jail. You _will_ serve the maximum sentence, whether you did it or not.

      I have some hope British justice will not become as bad, but with an administration as right wing as Johnson’s, we have no guarantee.

  • Bennyboy45

    Be sure that had it been a Russian responsible for the tragic accident our dear friends Bellingcat would have already found incontrovertible evidence linking him/her to Mr Putin!

    • Pyewacket

      No doubt they would have found Vladimir’s Driving Licence at the scene of the accident.

  • Tom74

    Great work, Craig – no surprise that our gormless media didn’t even do basic checks on Jonathan Sacoolas. The Tories and the media are running scared of their American controllers as usual.

    • jmg

      And that was quite a long time ago. Julian’s current situation:

      “He confirms that he is still on the health ward, though he hasn’t seen specialists, which is obviously necessary after what he’s been through. He explains that he is transported in and out of his cell, where he is kept for twenty-two hours a day under so-called ‘controlled moves’, meaning the prison is locked down and hallways are cleared. He describes the exercise yard. It has writing on the wall that says, ‘Enjoy the blades of grass under your feet’, but there is no grass, only concrete. There’s nothing green, just layers of wire mesh above his head, and concrete all around.

      “After such extreme isolation and deprivation of human company, of course he is happy to see friends. . . . Julian gets two social visits a month . . .

      “Still, I’m struck over and over again by the times he takes the conversation away from him and into principles and the broader implications of his case: ‘This isn’t just about me, Flick; this is about so many people, every journalist in the UK. If I can be grabbed, just another Australian working in London, any journalist or publisher can be grabbed for simply doing their jobs’. . . .

      “I hug farewell a much thinner man than the one I formerly knew . . .”

      Assange Behind Bars, by Felicity Ruby — A visit to Belmarsh maximum-security prison — Arena.org.au, 27 Sep 2019
      https://arena.org.au/assange-behind-bars-by-felicity-ruby/

      – – –

      Julian Assange’s next extradition hearings:

      – 11 October 2019
      – 21 October 2019
      – 25 to 29 February 2020

  • Ghost Ship

    Surely Johnson and Raab have both been fully briefed (if not, why not?) on this so they are both lying and know they’re lying.

  • ReM

    I don’t expect the UK government to do anything. You know what they are doing to Assange and many others; if half the country were exterminated, the UK government would still not be very indignant about it. Yet, somebody must do something about what’s going on. How many ruined lives does it take for this country to stand up to injustice?
    (We are being hassled every single day and nobody is interested.)

    • Tom Welsh

      “How many ruined lives does it take for this country to stand up to injustice?”

      The first step towards such a desirable end would be to have a British government that actually represents the British people, and pursues their interests.

      I see no likelihood of this ever happening.

  • Mrs Pau!

    I see the Guardian is running the official FO line which seems to be that a) Mr. Sacoolas was a diplomat and did have diplomatic immunity and by extension his diplomatic immunity extended to his family b) the fact he is not on the US diplomatic list is irrelevant, it is not a definitive list and lots of people with diplomatic status are not listed and c) RAF Croughton is treated as an annex of the US Embassy and all its staff and their families accordingly have diplomatic immunity. Meanwhile Piers Morgan is in full war cry mode on the Daily Mail

    • Hatuey

      People on here talk about The Guardian as if it used to a quality newspaper. When was that the case? I’ve always regarded it as mediocre junk aimed at the mediocre middle classes. If it’s fallen from grace, I wouldn’t worry — it’s not like it had far to fall.

      • glenn_uk

        Is there a good newspaper to read, particularly these days? I doubt if anyone of any sense took every word as the truth, even back in the day. But it’s still a bit of a puzzle what to recommend, after one might have scornfully disparaged another’s faith in – say – The Mail.

        The only periodical I personally regard as free from absolute corruption is Private Eye. The main purpose the Eye achieves, is to show how miserably corrupt almost every institution happens to be, matched only by how useless the bodies that supposedly provide checks and balances are.

        • Ingwe

          @glenn_uk. I don’t agree with you about what Private Eye achieves. Its main “achievement” is the sowing of confusion which acts effectively as a smokescreen allowing a descent into a truly reactionary state.
          Yes, it exposes graft, usually about politicians lining their nests or businesses ripping each other off or conning the public. But it gets lots of stuff wrong, so frequently, that it’s become an insider joke the number of times it and its editor gets sued. By mixing exposés of corruption with BS and often self-referential Fleet Street tittle tattle results in readers being unable to rely on PE to carry the truth.
          I buy it, usually when on a train journey, but place little reliance on it to expose anything truly significant and it remains, at the end of the day, a cheerleader for Capitalism and its excesses.

        • David

          Nope, sad to say but Private Eye is ‘nobbled’ (they continue to report in one (goose) step with the other UK media ‘the narrative’ on Skripal and ‘the narrative’ on Corbyn) (I can’t recall their POV on J.Assange)

          (only in my opinion, I haven’t done any formal AI/ML sentiment analysis, yet), It is on my ‘to-do’ list, and is hampered by the fact that I’ll have to scan and OCR the articles. It should be quite easy to show their bias. UK ‘narrative’ bias seems to quite heavy handed and aimed at a short attention-span public.

          Saying that, I do enjoy reading the rest of P.Eye, they reveal all the non-important corruption – similar to how I enjoy listening to the real people (and paid people pretending to be real people) who phone up LBC, as they are a much better radio station than the UK market leader – until it gets to ‘the narrative’, when they LBC sound eerily like Radio Station Peace and Progress that I laughed at in the ‘seventies.

          but back to your question, rather than papers in general, I try and process the FT for their news (‘illionaire markets demand accuracy where there are virtual trillions at stake) and there remain remarkable individual journos such as the Peters (Oborne in the Mail, Hitchens in M.o.Sunday) who seem to have an accurate world view, and are not afraid to write about it.

          • Borncynical

            “…sad to say but Private Eye is ‘nobbled’ (they continue to report in one (goose) step with the other UK media…).”

            Ian Hislop…BBC…Have I got News for You. Phoney integrity and indignation supported by one regular, fat pay cheque. Say no more.

          • begob

            I’m inclined to agree with that, but just as an inference. I had noticed a complete absence of scepticism from Hislop over the Skripal affair on HIGNFY. He also has a 1 hour documentary available on BBC iPlayer on the history of fake news. He briefly mentions WMD, but only after an earnest interview with the MD of the NYT (formerly DG of the BBC) on the principles of real news without a peep about that paper’s outright support for the invasion of Iraq. He also bangs the drum against Trump, and asserts that Putin’s scepticism over the Skripal affair and RT’s treatment of it are the real “fake news”.

            Curious how selective he is.

          • Node

            Private Eye – Scourge of the Establishment.
            Aye, right. Such a scourge that the BBC has punished Hislop with never-ending sinecures – Have I Got News for You, Who Do You Think You Are?, Great Railway Journeys, Ian Hislop’s Scouting for Boys, When Bankers were Good!! (my exclamation marks), Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip: An emotional history of Britain, The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Ian Hislop’s Age of the Do-Gooders, …. to name but a few.

          • N_

            You’re wasting your time trying to prove the obvious. Nobody who’s paid to do something is ever “independent”. Personally I piss on all journalists.

            As the Socialist Patients’ Collective of the University of Heidelberg wrote in 1972: whoever claims they want to “observe the bare facts dispassionately” is either an “idiot” or a “dangerous criminal.”

        • Geoffrey

          I agree with Paul Barbara, the Eye is a pathetic remnant of itself. I am looking at a an article on the first page of the Eye at the moment in which it refers to Brexiteers shorting the £. The basis of the article is that even though we know the article is untrue and that there is no evidence for it , we should still take it into account ! I thought that was the sort of thing the Eye was supposed to expose and shame rather than give further publicity to a dishonest and untrue article.

        • Hatuey

          “Is there a good newspaper to read, particularly these days?”

          The only things I’d even consider looking at are the FT and The Economist. Actually, in truth, I only ever read The Economist in order to learn how to speak in code.

          For reasons similar to those that David explains below, the FT is worth looking at if only to see what rich sociopathic crackpots have on their minds.

          People say the Internet offers some hope, but I actually think standards have fallen there too — there was a time when you had to be slightly more intelligent than a porcupine to make a blog and deliver information online, but not now.

          The good news is that my brain today is like some vast unfolding super-computer; I am now able to conjure up new realities and endlessly explore ideas that I myself invent alongside those that I first encountered years ago.

          “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence…”

          • mark golding

            Well said Hatuey – Hmm; I might ask Jonathan Sacoolas if he understands who murdered Gareth Williams, being familiar with tracing international money-laundering routes…

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Hatuey October 9, 2019 at 00:49
        I found it very informative from the late ’60’s to the ’80’s, particularly re South and Central America.
        It has been utter rubbish for a considerable time now.

        • David

          The Guardian of today doesn’t need any sentiment analysis – they are often simply cutting & pasting articles from, not joking here, credited to another nineteen-seventies relic Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty I think their masthead should similarly perpetually honor the Stars and Stripes, on the back-page should only give us meaningless sporty snippets like ” Rays stymie Astros to force Game 5, The Rays defeated the Astros 4-1 on Tuesday to force a fifth and final game in the ALDS” something to do with “NBA” or “MLB”

          It is very interesting to look for the seeds of an individual news story. I’ve seen some stories that have been quietly covertly seeded, nudged, in a minor blog in indonesia – expecting the intra-blog churnalism to increase the exposure, until thomson-reuters picks it up, that approach I tended to ascribe to Putins anti-democratic forces, tho’ also occasionally used in Western color-revolutions, but for the Grauniad to just quote verbatim from RFE/RL is to completely ignore the history of Operation Mockingbird. which “stopped” in the ‘seventies, yes. …it has bells on it

      • Tom Welsh

        I conjecture that many people admired The Grauniad when they were young, idealistic and innocent. Once they reached years of discretion, and gradually came to notice its true quality, they may have retained the pleasant illusion that it was once a good newspaper.

        But I distinctly recall giggling over some friends’ addiction to it back in the 1960s. It was already a haven for self-deception and idealistic fantasies.

    • Iain Stewart

      Unless you read the Guardian view 7 October “Asked about an American spy’s wife who has claimed diplomatic immunity after being involved in the death of a British motorcyclist, Mr Johnson could not, for once, have spoken more plainly.”

  • Col. Flag

    This Standard Operating Procedure for the Imperial Eagle. Dig around and you should easily find numerous cases when American military are accused of Rape or Drunken Vehicular Homicide that the member of the military is quickly rushed out of the country. From there it is just No Harm No Foul. The member of the military may get a weakly worded reprimand placed into his/her permanent record, but that’s about it.

    Okinawa comes to mind as a highly likely place to look for such incidents. NSA staff is effectively same as the American military, so I am not surprised they get the same protection. And yes, it does confirm that the UK and Scotland are treated as the same sort of s#!thole countries like the other American bases, at least in the eye of an Imperial Eagle who needs to take a dump.

  • lysias

    Zero Hedge says the whistleblower was professionally associated with one of the Dem primary candidates. We know he worked at the White House at some point. CIA officer attached as an adviser to Vice President Biden’s office? Should be possible to identify the guy.

    • Col. Flag

      Funny … this is not the Zero Hedge site, and the article has nothing to do with strange conspiracy theories. Did you perhaps post on the wrong tab in your web browser?

  • giyane.

    Spying is .not permitted in Islam . In other words the type of spying that intrudes into the privacy of someone’s private life. Specifically it is forbidde because it might give you information which might be harmful to you.

    The industry of spying is premised on the idea that information is always beneficial.
    Politicians often don’t drive. The reason for that is the sheer complexity of information in their heads stops their concentration for instance on what side of the road they should be driving..

    Spying has destroyed intellectual thought.
    Instead of thinking through what will work or what wil be good for society, all that politicians do now to earn a living is spy on what people think and calculate what policy will win them an election. In power they do whatever is most profitable for their group however detrimental to the people who elected them.

    All of the privileges granted to democrats should be taken away from the cheats and gamblers who are now called politicians.
    There should be no spy staff in parliament.
    Parliamentary debate is not for spinning an outcome which has been pre decided on popularity in Face book.

    That’s wha t this generation of politicians THINK is democracy but why not just have one big computer comparing the product of algorithms. Put the politicians on universal credit and minimum wage to get theirblazy brains moving again

    • giyane.

      There is an advertisement currently on Unity FM 93.5 just next to radio z4 which is 92.7 in Birmingham . It offers you a brand of education for you children that will be compatible with your sect’s opinions.Really they are that shameless in promoting their sectarianism even though this sectarianism or
      Hizbiah is totally forbidden.

      When I got a hospital in Birmingham the consultant asks me about my sect, and if he doesn’t like my sect he just reaches for the prescription pad and I get another box of paracetamol to add to my collection. I’ve been working for an Islamic School where the person in charge is an IT engineer. In short that means he is a spy.

      If the guy in charge of the work knows you are from a different race, sect, background , political persuasion to him, he’s just going to mess with you for his own personal satisfaction

      This is the microcosm of daily life in the world of universal spying. In order to achieve diversity educstorscand employers are crossing out the names on exam papers and job applications.

      So tell me please someone if you can. If less information means greater diversity and freedom, what does universal spying mean…?

      • giyane

        Also , if someone knows the answer to this question. Is it right that a a person from Indian ethnicity but British nationality and therefore been fully assimilated by the rules of equal opportunity and Diversity in this country, should stand up in the mosque as imam on the day that Islamic State announced on the news that it had killed 270 Christian worshippers or tourists and injured a further 500 people , and recite verses from the qur’an about the killing of Christians , not in cold blood or in a place of Christian worship but in a war context? Where is the diversity policy of this mosque? Laden in the bin?

        If a spy is working in this country, for the NSA, spying on the US public, they are by definition , and also by great expense, resident in this country because the law prevents this spying from inside the US. If they were to have diplomatic immunity then they would be spying as residents of the US, although physically located in the UK. They cannot have it both ways

  • Chris Barclay

    What’s the probability of the accused facing justice in the UK? Very little, I would guess. What we need to do is use the case to highlight the imbalance of the extradition treaty between the UK and US.

  • michael norton

    I think we should be told was the accident straight away reported to the U.K. police by occupants of the colliding car?
    Did the U.K. police respond straight away?
    Or was there perhaps a time-delay because the colliding vehicle occupants were first removed into the American zone of influence?

  • Adrian Parsons

    “Ultimately however it does not matter that I am not credited…”

    Such a fragile ego.

  • Pius LXIX

    Would the many bullshitters on here kindly stop pontificating with their latest silly, florid and mawkish conspiracy theories and keep in mind that members of the Dunn family may be reading? Words like “chavs” and “prole” are offensive enough at the best of times.They are unlikely to be grateful or in the mood for reading these ill-informed armchair-general-style “analyses” of what’s going on behind the scenes by a bunch of tinfoil milliners.

    As Craig very well knows: for (the majority of) Sun readers and FT readers alike, “diplomat” is simply sloppy journalistic shorthand for anyone who works in a foreign jurisdiction for their own government.To spell that out, for bears of little brain: in some countries British Council, DfID, DS(b3) [etc] officers have diplomatic status and in other countries they do not. The are all “diplomats” in the vernacular sense used in the press. Craig knows this very well, and is, as usual, just stoking the fire.

    Let’s hope the narrow readership of this article, and those sanctimonious and sententious comments btl does not extend to the Dunn family, or any of their immediate circle of friends and relatives.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Pius LXIX October 9, 2019 at 09:27
      If any of the Dunn family are reading this, they will be grateful for the truth rather than the lies they have doubtless been fed by HMG and the MSM.

    • Sharp Ears

      As far as I can see, the only reference to ‘proles’ is yours. The word ‘chavs’ was used in the context of how the British MSM will be viewing the Dunn family. Please stop your exaggerations.

    • Deb O'Nair

      ‘“diplomat” is simply sloppy journalistic shorthand for anyone who works in a foreign jurisdiction for their own government’

      In this case I think it has been pretty obvious that there has been a blatant attempt to deceive the Dunn family and the public by HMG, even Sky News (sister TV news channel of The Sun) have been saying as much.

      • Herbie

        Yes. That’s the key.

        Someone, some body, allowed her to leave as if she had diplomatic immunity.

        Nothing at all to do with sloppy journalism. Red herring.

        In police statements they talk about “liaising”, “liaison”.

        So, looks as though they’re talking about their GCHQ liaison.

        Did they talk to her at all.

        But anyway, good on the family for getting the story well and truly out.

        Without such a strong family the story may have remained local.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Herbie October 9, 2019 at 19:02
          Wouldn’t surprise me if HMG suggested she split.

    • Robert

      Anyone know what the critereon for having diplomatic immunity in the UK is? There must be a legal basis, and by now it must have been tested in court a few times. Is it “being on the list?” Is it “having a letter to provie it?” Or some generic “falls into category X”?

      • Pius LXIX

        grateful for the truth rather than the lies they have doubtless been fed by HMG and the MSM

        (Paul Barbara) I doubt it very much. The truth is, their son died in a tragic accident, and are now seeking justice and propriety. This blog is not an appropriate forum for this, and much of what has been written is in extremely poor taste and inappropriate.

        As far as I can see, the only reference to ‘proles’ is yours…

        (Sharp Ears) You’ve obviously been having a lie-in today. The word “proles” appeared in a comment which has mercifully since been redacted. Also, I think Adrian Parsons (ibid) was not attempting sarcasm in his comment, or indeed wit. I am certainly not in the business of exaggeration, that’ll be you!

        blatant attempt to deceive the Dunn family

        (Deb O’Nair) I agree, but this is not the appropriate forum for their elucidation. Anyone who actually know anything about any of the details of Ms Sacoola does not comment on blogs like this, so they’d be looking in the wrong place for their enlightenment.

        Finally, to Robert: Good question, and Craig does know a bit, as do I. Neither of us is an expert, but we know more than most.The rules are rather complicated and arcane, and would take a great deal of explanation. Special secret agreements do indeed exist, but they are not going to be discussed on here by anyone with any expertise, so don’t hold your breath. They are also largely irrelevant to an investigation into the fatal crash, which is what matters, as I’m sure we’d all agree. This investigation will take place. Comments on here do not shed any light on this, and are potentially upsetting to the family.

        • Sharp Ears

          No up at 6am as per usual Pius the 66th*. You seem to be spending an inordinate time on studying the content of this thread. Why is that?

          PS I do not exaggerate. Usually just report the facts with a link to corroborate them.

          * Should that be the 77th?

        • giyane.

          Prius

          Most people handle grief well.
          But sometimes if a relationship has been troubled , which the opposite of this tragedy, the grief is hard to handle. But when , as in this case, the people grieving are also having to deal with official obstruction and lies it’s very hard.

          You come across as part of that official obstructivity and Craig does not. How do you think your pomposity is helping the grieves at this time?

        • Tom Welsh

          “Special secret agreements do indeed exist, but they are not going to be discussed on here by anyone with any expertise, so don’t hold your breath”.

          Not TOO condescending, then.

        • nevermind

          This is not the approbiate forum to discuss this matter?
          I suspect that your are not pope Pious, hence, tell us whence you have taken over this blog so we can adjust existing rules for all that feel they can contribute, to your rectal regime.
          If diplomatic rules allow Goverents to ignore diplomacy when it matters, then we ca vacilate and or discuss this unfortunate news diversion.
          I hope you get this, now go and get your own blog if you may.

    • Greg Park

      “sanctimonious .. comments btl”

      Yours being par exemplar, your Holiness..Moral superiority writ large.

      • Pius LXIX

        Too bloody right, mate! You’d do well to bear in mind my infallibility.

        (I’m also an authority on references to the Karma Sutra in the works of Vladimir Nabokov)

  • michael norton

    If you have an accident and there are not any casualties you have been obliged to report that accident to the police within 24 hours.
    If there has been an accident where there have been casualties you are obliged to report it to the police as soon as practically possible.
    Did the driver of the colliding vehicle leave the scene for a medical emergency, did she call and wait for the police to arrive
    or did she call the Americans to whisk he out of the way?

    • michael norton

      Leaving the scene of an accident that you have caused without a medical need is a criminal offence.

  • Spencer Eagle

    Let’s not forget it was an accident, folks. She didn’t drive out of those gates with the intention of killing someone, and given the circumstances – who hasn’t driven abroad and inadvertently ended up on the wrong side of road? she would likely as not be charged with causing death by careless driving which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in jail. If the government is making noises to get her back in the UK then I would guess a suspended sentence would be on the table to smooth the way.

    • Hatuey

      “who hasn’t driven abroad and inadvertently ended up on the wrong side of road?”

      Ehhhhhh — who hasn’t married a guy employed to spy on unsuspecting members of the general public and killed an innocent kid in an accident that would easily have been avoided if you paid a little more attention before fleeing out of the country in order to avoid facing the law?

      Happens all the time, eh…

    • Goose

      A Tory MP, Julian Brazier, was involved in an similar accident in Italy. He was the MP for Canterbury. He killed a motorcyclist , in virtually identical circumstances. He walked away with a suspended sentence.

      All the news reports in the US and UK are still referring to this guy, Jonathan Sacoolas, as ‘a diplomat’. The same people would be quick to lash at at this blog for presenting what they allege is misleading information.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “All the news reports in the US and UK are still referring to this guy, Jonathan Sacoolas, as ‘a diplomat’. ”

        Sky News, who yesterday were running hourly reports explaining why this guy is not a diplomat, today repeatedly describe him as a diplomat. It would appear that the staff at Sky News have been instructed to tow the line on the official narrative after yesterdays aberration.

        • Anthony

          They also know that no ‘reputable’ journalist outside the organisation will follow up on their fleeting heresy or draw attention to their backsliding. It is a well tamed profession.

  • Mary Pau!

    Currently confined to house following minor surgery and just turned on sky news to catch end of news feature about Scoolas. They were saying story did not emerge in press at the time and has only done so now due to determination of victims family, that authorities appeared to want to bury it quietly. .

    Sky also someticking firmly to line that Scoolases had diplomatic immunity. FOseems to be going with RAF Coughton having special status as annex of US embassy under earlier agreement. I thought it was some years now since every single employee of an embassy in London had diplomatic status and these days it is only extended to those on the published diplomatic lists. Has any newspaper broken ranks on this line?

  • Gary

    I didn’t pay attention to the EXACT words used in the house by Raab when he spoke on this matter. It would be interesting to reread them in the light of your revelation. I can only assume that he knew she was not covered by diplomatic immunity and that he was careful with his words when speaking. If he DIDN’T know then he is more incompetent than I had previously believed (although I don’t for a moment imagine that the Civil Service would allow him to speak without having prepped him first)

    I don’t know what happened in this accident where a young man lost his life. the way it’s being reported is that it WAS her fault and she WAS willing to stay and cooperate. This makes it look like someone made a decision to remove her to make the situation ‘go away’ but that it has backfired.

    How long will our media stick with this story though? How long will the US media stick with it? I think the story will evaporate most quickly in the US but not long after in the UK. This time next week it will be forgotten and there will be no justice for the family who have lost a son.

    There’s one law for them…

  • Mary Pau!

    Maybe there is a clue in the Sun, which has claimed Jonathan Scoolas is a spy, for why they were whisked back to the USA. Maybe it is not the role of Jonathan the authorities are concealing but that of his wife Anna. The Sunn says Anna Scoolas was working in Washington for the State department when they married in 2003. “It is not clear what her role was.”

  • Dungroanin

    Trump just like Gandhi won’t get the ‘Peace’ prize – he was nominated 5 times!

    The Empire ONLY rewards these that further ITS own interests.

    • Jack

      For Korea talks he should be a contender (for the prize) and no doubt is Trump a buffoon and there is no reason to support him on his attacks and threats on Iran. But really, I think its more and more clear that it is people, advisors, media that confuse and push for war in the middle east.

      • Republicofscotland

        Speaking of Iran, women are to be allowed into a football stadium to watch Iran’s next World Cup game, I think its against Cambodia.

        In days gone by the only time women would’ve been allowed into football stadiums in Iran is when they were sentenced to death by stoning. However its been twenty years since the last woman sneaked into and Iranian football stadium to watch a game of football.

        She was discovered, and in her terror set herself on fire, and subsequently died of her injuries. The current Iranian football team captain has spoken out in defence of the woman with regards to that unfortunate incident twenty years ago, stupidly the governing body or club bosses have suspended him for the upcoming game against Cambodia.

      • Jack

        zoot

        While all that is probably true, when was the last time you heard an american president tell the rejection of war and actually doing some steps (small perhaps but still) to move out from the useless wars? Sure obama said some nice words before he became president but ended with what, 7 wars escalated when he left. I havent seen that yet by Trump. You dont think he is sincere about this?

    • Republicofscotland

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee don’t always get it right, on that I agree with the likes of Obama and Kissenger both receiving the Nobel Peace prize.

      However I like to think that on most occasions they do get it right, even if the runners up are worthy of a gong as well.

  • michael norton

    It is n ow being said that Turkey is air bombing North East Syria
    to “soften up”
    The Kurds.
    What a horrific regime under Erdogan.

    • Jack

      Why should we we suddenly care about kurds that fight against Syrian state, works with the US and Israel? I dont get it? Should US have stayed and occupied Syria?

      • SA

        The Kurds have not really fought very much against the Syrian State and in fact there has been a little bit of cooperation in the past. In fact there are Syrian troops in Hasakah province which is mainly Kurdish. It is better to have land occupied by the Kurds who are more likely in the future to reach a settlement with the SG than for this land to be occupied by Turkey or Turkish backed rebels.

  • Republicofscotland

    Today Turkish forces entered Northern Syria, in their quest to murder as many Kurdish fighters as possible under the guise that they’re killing terrorists, media reports have said that they’ve already heard shell fire in the distance and that
    there’s already civilian casualties.

    Meanwhile Erdogan is throwing his weight about elswhere, this time it looks like Turkey and the EU are locked in a head on confrontation, as Turkey illegally drills for oil/gas in EU member Cyprus waters. Cyprus has paid Israel €12 million Euros for four drones to monitor Turkish actions in Cypriot water.

    • michael norton

      RoS
      Russia might be in an “interesting” position, they are trying to peel Turkey away from NATO, partially by selling the Turks S-400 missile systems, this has angered Washington who have removed Turkey from the World’s most expensive military programme,
      the one and a half trillion F-35 warplane, Turkey was to have 15% of the programme and to do all the major re-fits,
      in Turkey for all F-35s in Africa, Asia, Europe and Western Atlantic areas.
      This 15% share and the major re-fit facility is now going begging ( U.K.?)
      but Russia also has spent much treasure on securing Syria, its Naval and air bases.
      This is a dilemma for Russia,Iran & U.S.A.

    • Hatuey

      Yes, the Turkish government is bad but look at ours and what we do. We aren’t even from that neck of the woods.

      How long before we hear about British arms sales increasing to Turkey? I’ll bet it’s within a week.

      The sooner Scotland gets out of the UK and all this crap, the better.

      • Republicofscotland

        What I find absolutely disgusting is that Syria is a sovereign nation, who hasn’t invited any of those nations (including Turkey) across its borders, yet here they are like Western forces crossing into Syria and killing at will.

        Turkey should face sanctions and Erdogan should be standing in the dock in the Hague. However its only African dictator’s or Eastern European warmongers such as Milošević who end up at the Hague. No Blair or Bush or Obama.

  • Ian

    Ah, the life and soul of the birthday celebrations. That will cheer him no end, I’m sure. Daft question.

  • Vronsky

    BBC ‘news’ this morning sticking resolutely to the ‘diplomat’ story, even after being firmly corrected by the human rights lawyer they (oops!) interviewed.

    • michael norton

      The family at the centre of a diplomatic row after their son died in a car crash said they were “angry and frustrated” following a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

      Well, they know they are being taken for non-thinking plebs.
      This is not going to go down well with Johnson sucking up to Donald, if the Americans are to be our new partners, we need a level playing field.

      • Tom Welsh

        “…if the Americans are to be our new partners, we need a level playing field”.

        1. The Americans don’t have “partners”, they have servants.

        2. As between masters and servants, there cannot be a level playing field.

        It’s funny that the Russians call their enemies “partners”, while the Americans treat their “partners” like enemies.

      • Sharp Ears

        The ITV report tonight was strongly supportive of the parents and reported the Raab fob off. The parents wished they had not wasted their time travelling down to London.

        The Mail’s lawyers are involved too.

        Harry’s father was a caretaker at the private school which the three Sacoolas children attended.

      • michael norton

        I am not sure you are entirely correct Tom.
        Five Eyes is the five countries who speak English, Canada, U.S.A. U.K., New Zealand and Australia, are we not partners?
        The F-35 programme, the U.K. has 15% of the programme, we will be using them on our aircraft carriers, are we not partners?
        Do we not mangle a common language?
        Donald’s mum was born a native speaking Scot.
        Boris was born in New York, like Donald.
        Do we not have more in common than that which pushes us apart?

  • Ben

    And the claim the published diplomatic list is not complete, so no guide to who is and is not a diplomat?

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