The Disgusting Lies on Harry Dunn’s Death Must Stop 107

Beyond any doubt, it would have been Dominic Raab’s personal decision to grant a fake diplomatic immunity to Anne Sacoolas and permit her to leave the country. I have watched with sheer horror the Tory crocodile tears, the ministerial meetings with Harry Dunn’s brave but distraught family, and the PR pretence that the UK is seeking Anne Sacoolas’ return, now that she is safely back at CIA HQ. It is perhaps the most nauseating display of individual hypocrisy I have ever seen in politics. The callous abuse of Harry Dunn’s suffering family and the sheer cynicism of the patent charade that the government is supporting them, leave me deeply depressed – and very angry.

It may surprise you, but I have known and worked with some Tories who were at heart honorable men. The centre of this government is estranged from the very concept of personal honour.

The Permanent Secretary of the FCO, Simon McDonald, in appearing virtually before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee this week, stated in evidence that the initial advice from FCO Legal Advisers was that Anne Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity, but that this legal advice changed after discussion with the US State Department. Crucially McDonald stated that the legal advice had gone to three FCO ministers including Raab, but he does not seem to have stated who made the actual decision to let Sacoolas go – largely because nobody on the Committee seems to have asked him the right question. With a CIA officer killing a young British lad, it is from my personal FCO experience inconceivable this was not Raab’s call.

I have explained, from long before there was any acknowledgement of the fact in the mainstream media, that Anne Sacoolas did not qualify for diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. That specifically reserves immunity for families to diplomatic agents carrying diplomatic rank, which Sacoolas’ husband never had.

Please read my detailed explanation here, or the rest of this article will be hard going.

The Foreign Office Must Be Challenged Over Sacoolas’ Immunity

The British government claims that there is a secret bilateral treaty governing the status of American spies at RAF Croughton, under which Anne Sacoolas does have immunity.

Now I want you to follow this very closely. I apologise that, if you are unfamiliar with the concepts, it is difficult to get your head around.

You will recall that in the Julian Assange case, the British government is claiming that Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007, which bans “political” extradition, has no force in law. The British government argues that this is because an international treaty the UK has entered into only has legal force in the UK if it is specifically incorporated into law by UK legislation; and the 2007 UK/US Extradition Treaty never was so incorporated. The UK government argues that the 2007 Treaty depends on the 2003 Extradition Act, but as the 2003 Act is (they claim) incompatible with Article 4 of the 2007 Treaty, then Article 4 must fall. Political extradition would therefore become possible.

The UK government position in the Assange case is that the UK government’s treaty commitments are legally void unless specifically passed into UK legislation.

Well – very definitely no “secret treaty” over RAF Croughton has ever been incorporated into UK law. The only legal basis on which Dominic Raab could give Anne Sacoolas immunity is the Diplomatic Privileges Act of 1964, which incorporates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations into UK law. And Ms Sacoolas’ so-called immunity is incompatible with the Vienna Convention as her husband is not a diplomatic agent carrying diplomatic rank. He could only be technical and administrative staff of the US Embassy (itself a dubious claim). The families of Technical and Administrative staff do not have any immunity under the Vienna Convention. Therefore Dominic Raab had no legal power to grant Anne Sacoolas immunity. There is no UK law that confers that power upon him, whatever any secret treaty might say.

In short, the British government is arguing the opposite in the Sacoolas case to its argument in the Assange case. It claims a secret bilateral treaty with the US could alone give Dominic Raab the legal power to grant Ms Sacoolas immunity. While in the Assange case it argues that a bilateral treaty with the USA carries no legal force.

I should straighten one wrinkle. I understand that the current fig leaf which UK government lawyers are attempting to shrink behind is the provision in the 1964 Diplomatic Privileges Act authorising bilateral arrangements which confer immunities over and above those conferred by the Vienna Convention. There is indeed such a provision, at article 7 of the Act.

But note this: it only provides for special bilateral arrangements already in place “at the commencement of the Act”, ie before 1964. Furthermore those bilateral arrangements must, as specified in the legislation, be listed in the London Gazette. I searched the Gazette, which was as little fun as it sounds. Journalism is tough work if you do it properly, which is presumably why the media no longer even pretend to do it. Eventually I tracked down the list of bilateral arrangements under the Diplomatic Privileges Act on page 8,292 of Issue 4,351 of the London Gazette.

Special bilateral arrangements with the USA were indeed gazetted (and now you know where that term comes from).

But note that this special arrangement for US technical and administrative staff only applies to clause 7 (b) of the Act, not 7(A). That is it only confers exemption from taxation. In effect, the only right Mr Sacoolas was granted was the right to buy duty free booze – a right which may well have its part to play in the death of Harry Dunn. There was no diplomatic immunity for Sacoolas, let alone his family, irrespective of what the FCO might claim.

There is no secret treaty over RAF Croughton, or arrangement for diplomatic immunity there, ever posted in the London Gazette under the 1964 Act or ever embodied in any other primary or secondary UK legislation. The initial FCO legal advice, that Anne Sacoolas had no immunity, was very plainly correct.

The evidence given by Simon McDonald was that a secret treaty purported to give full immunity to spies like Sacoolas, but that this treaty had been recently amended to remove their immunity. However, McDonald continued, in removing the immunity for spies it had not stated that it also removed immunity for their families, so that remained. He called this “apparently illogical” and “a recondite piece of law”.

It is in fact utter nonsense. The only families who have Vienna Convention immunity are the families of diplomatic agents having diplomatic rank. They only have diplomatic immunity through the diplomatic agent. A family cannot have diplomatic immunity while the (alleged) Embassy staff member on whom that immunity depends does not. It is not just illogical, it is impossible in terms of the Vienna Convention, and diplomatic immunity can only be conferred through the incorporation of the Vienna Convention into UK law in the 1964 Diplomatic Privileges Act. All of which Simon McDonald knows very well.

My own interpretation is that McDonald was obviously calling into ridicule a case for which he has great personal distaste, by making bare its absurdity whilst appearing to defend it as a loyal civil servant. Which is as absurd as the rest of this disgusting quagmire of immorality.

I am very grateful to those of you who responded to my call to put in Freedom of Information requests on the UK government position re the applicability of Article 4 of the 2007 UK/US Extradition Treaty. The first results are starting to come through. As suspected the government are being as obstructive and unhelpful as possible.

The FCO has stated that it does hold material on the internal assessment of the official UK government view from 2003 to 2007 of the compatibility of Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007 with the Extradition Act of 2003. However it is refusing to retrieve and release the material on grounds of excessive cost, claiming it would take more than the mandated 3.5 man days to process the request.

As all the material in question from those dates will be electronically stored, I know they are lying about excessive time and cost. We are looking to break down the request into several smaller chunks to parcel out. It is however very instructive already that the FCO is admitting it does hold the information. This confirms what I explained, that internal FCO systems, to my certain and direct knowledge, make it impossible that the 2007 US/UK Extradition Treaty could have been ratified by the UK without a preceding very thorough Whitehall assessment of the enforceability of all of its provisions in UK law.

Unfortunately I now have my own quite severe legal difficulties to which I need to attend. I was very keen to get this material to help the Harry Dunn campaign finished and published, which is why I am completing this article at 5.30am after writing it all night. I regret that the haste required has made my explanation of a technically complex subject not as straightforward nor as elegant as I would usually try to achieve. It also means that you need to follow the links and read some of the past material I had written, rather than my setting it out all afresh in a self-sufficient article as I would have wished. I do apologise for this, but will explain the difficult circumstances shortly.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.


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107 thoughts on “The Disgusting Lies on Harry Dunn’s Death Must Stop

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  • Deepgreenpuddock

    ‘Disgusting lies’seems to be the default position of our governments.

  • Peter

    “I searched the Gazette, which was as little fun as it sounds. Journalism is tough work if you do it properly, which is presumably why the media no longer even pretend to do it. Eventually I tracked down the list of bilateral arrangements under the Diplomatic Privileges Act on page 8,292 of Issue 4,351 of the London Gazette.”

    What a classic, epochal quote that is. One that deserves to resonate down the ages.

    I raise a glass to you Mr Murray.

    (I will probably comment on the article once I’ve finished reading it.)

    • Peter

      I had not seen Mary’s comment (two above), or any similar ones, when making my previous comment.

      I will surely include a response to that when I have given this article, and Mary’s reference, some consideration.

      As I’m sure you will know already Craig, you need have no doubt that there are many here with you.

  • 6033624

    Thank you for another well researched piece. If only there were even ONE journalist doing this in our print or television media!

  • Paul+Short

    Having seen the reference in the National and other media to your impending Contempt of Court case, I have sent £100 as contribution to the costs. Just in case they, sensibly, back out from it – spend it on whisky obviously. Sadly, there is probably little chance of this. Good luck – remember there’s a lot of us behind you.

    • quasi_verbatim

      What! Contempt of a Scots Court? Has the universal wolf at last ate up himself?
      On Rat, not quite one of us. The wrong sort of chap, really. Things would have been handled better at the FCO in Johners’ day.

  • lysias

    Was Anne Sacoolas doing something they were anxious should not come out, like interfering in the UK election?

  • Ingwe

    Mr Murray, as many others have posted on here, you have the support of a lot of us and we will contribute to your legal defence fund. Perhaps when you’ve had a rest (after your all-night effort) you’ll indicate how best we can arrange the funding.

    These preposterous proceedings must be fought. Any journalists who doesn’t see the danger of this are either stupid, Guardian scribblers and main stream propagandists.

    The press is full of the Royal privacy trial shit and not a word on the radio news about the contemp proceedings.

  • nevermind

    Much appreciate that you can be bothered where the MSM dare not treads. This quick as you can CIA exit for one of their intelligence spooks is contemptuous, scurrilous and typical for our western Atlanticist establishment, now seriously wobbling.

    As for the CoC charge, its becoming obvious that they want to keep you busy and take your real reporting away from JA trial which will very likely be followed by his instant removal via the US airstrip nearby.

    They want you out of the way
    Applying for a delay of your court date, for reasons of ill health, it does not stop them to play judge jury and executioner on JA, will be very likely refused.
    They are homing in.

  • Giyane

    If the Times report is true, may I say that I haven’t a clue who any of Salmond’s accusers were. Nothing on this blog has breached any confidentiality. It seems this rule of anonymity was placed as a backstop by HMG in case he was acquitted in order to have an excuse to open up the case by the back door.

    Probably in Scotland everybody knows who they might be because public institutions usually display pictures of their senior staff on their websites. This charge, if true , is a desperate measure because only somebody with considerable inside knowledge of the day to day inner workings of Scottish administration could ever work it out , and only then if they knew anyway. Plenty of scope there for more lies and false accusations.

    Whoever set the honey traps also set man traps to catch anybody investigating their lies. Obscene. Nearly as obscene as selling live bats which the authorities knew could have transmittable viruses. But nothing is quite so obscene as spying on people all the time. I think it’s illegal.

    • michael norton

      Good Post Giyane.
      Very likely this is
      to slow Mr.Murray down, so he will take his focus away from Julian Assange.

    • Minority Of One

      >>Probably in Scotland everybody knows who they might be

      I have lived in Scotland nearly all my life and I have not got a clue who any of them are, not really into politics.
      Now would be a good time for Alex Salmond to start suing.

  • Cubby

    The Britnats don’t like somebody who tells the truth.

    I was happy to contribute to Alex Salmonds crowdfunder for his initial civil case and will do the same for you if you need funds to defend yourself.

    The Britnat saboteurs at the heart of the SNP/ Scotgov need removing – NOW.

  • Dungroanin

    You know the empire is in its last rancid putrefaction stage before imploding into a noxious pool of vomit inducing goo – when they start shooting the messengers.

    The Dunns need a US badger lawyer ready to take on their case and Assange’s too.

    Time to put maximum pressure on. Need to start listing the various bad actors for future prosecution- like the pack of cards they used on Saddam.

    • michael norton

      So, can Mr.Salmond take action against the Alphabet Sisters,
      if they can not be named?

      • Dungroanin

        What can you do legally when someone speaks lies about you? There’s a word for it – I’m sure Salmond will be entitled to such a course.

  • Frances Kay

    Good work, Craig, and even though the details are hard to take in on first reading, the issue is crystal clear – this is inconsistent with Assange’s treatment and is, evidently, a travesty of justice. Thank you for ferreting this out.

  • Dave

    Much appreciate your work in skewering these lying Tory (& other) hypocrites. Remind me, why should we save the MSM? 😉

    • Dungroanin

      It’s just cover for a hard brexit at any cost – including opting OUT of the ECHR!

      • Steve+Hayes

        Dungroanin, you do know that the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights are two separate and completely different things?

  • Piotr+Berman

    It is interesting that on the Gazette list, only Soviet Union genuinely cared about the little people working for the Embassy, giving both (a) and (b) immunities, and extending them to “technical staff AND personal servants”. The last clause suggests to me that it was not an egalitarian impulse but an arrangement inherited from imperial Russia. When Count (or Duke) Ambassador was appointed to the Court of St. James, full diplomatic immunity was given to his secretaries, chaplains, maids, butlers, footmen, hostlers, gardeners, cooks etc. etc.

    • Goodwin

      You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to work out where Russia “recruits” it’s “little people” and why they need diplomatic immunity …

  • Paul Peppiatt

    Craig, why don’t you set up a Trust to protect your assets , it seems all the rage! As for the contempt charge I suspect as other comments have that it is an attempt to preoccupy you, I personally think that they would be reluctant to let you take the stand with the privileges that would provide to you,as well as disclosure etc.They will probably withdraw the charge at the last minute with no explanation .Its as if the Judiciary are sleepwalking whilst relinquishing what remains of their powers to Parliament. for hundreds of years we have had no need for a written constitution preferring to rely on the wisdom and honor of our senior Judges to see fair play,I am beginning to wonder if this is sustainable.

    • Ken Kenn

      Not an expert on the state of Scottish politics at all but for all the legal niceties this is down to politics.

      It strikes me as similar to the public assassination of Corbyn via the media and it is intended ( whether true or not ) to morally wound political figures particularly if they are of the left stripe.

      I was watching a few videos of Bernie Sanders tonight and I don’t think he is a bad guy but the decisive acts ( not thoughts or philosophy ) but actual acts that he doesn’t carry out or potential actions, even in words have let his ordinary supporters down very badly.

      Alex Salmond is no better nor no worse than any other politician – he is a bit peacockish – like Galloway but that doesn’t detract from the fact that compared to some I espy in the SNP he would get my vote over and above the others.

      The main thing ( like Corbyn ) is to push into the non knowing public’s mind that somehow he has some proportion of Evil Genius as a character trait.

      Whereas Johnson has character flaws but ‘ We ‘ all love him – that’s why we call him Boris after all.

      Always when the ‘ We ‘ is invoked we ( in the ordinary sense ) have to ask – which ‘ we ‘ do we refer to?

      the we of them or the we of ‘ us ‘

      Like Corbyn – Salmond is seen as one of ‘ Them’ – not one of ‘ Us’

      Sanders has been silenced for a reason – I am suspicious about the reason he is silent.

      Corbyn is not and Salmond is neither.

      That to me is agood thing despite not knowing too much about the why but more as to who is doing what to whom?

      And why?

  • Paul Peppiatt

    I wonder if Ann Sacoolas contributed to the Mueller investigation, what with being a Russian speaking CIA asset and all. bit like that Lee fellow in Dallas ’63,

  • Tony

    Very well choreographed, I think.

    Now, here’s a question:

    Why do we have US bases in Britain?

    Time to close them down, I think.

  • Mary

    After you, Mr Raab.

    ‘Foreign Office officials failed to inform Northamptonshire Police that Harry Dunn ‘killer’ Anne Sacoolas would be returning to the US after crash despite it being responsible for establishing whether she had diplomatic immunity
    Sacoolas left the UK three weeks after crash in Northamptonshire on August 27
    When Foreign Office was told she would be returning to US it did not tell police
    Northamptonshire Police only found out the day after she had left the country
    Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn’s mother, said she was shocked to hear the claims’

    PUBLISHED: 20:30, 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 21:31, 28 April 2020

  • Mary

    Update in today’s Observer.

    Harry Dunn lawyers say documents expose ‘scandalous’ Foreign Office cover-up
    Family of motorcyclist killed near US base to receive crucial papers after seeking review

    Mark Townsend
    Sun 3 May 2020 07.05 BST

    Lawyers representing the family of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn are poised to receive a series of crucial documents which they believe will help their legal case to expose a “scandalous cover-up” by the Foreign Office.

    The development comes after documents showed that a senior Foreign Office diplomat had sent a text message to a US Embassy counterpart saying they should “feel able” to put suspect Anne Sacoolas on the next flight back to the States.


    • michael norton

      Harry Dunn’s twin brother has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson “we have had enough of the lies”.

      Niall Dunn, 20, said he and his parents have been “going through hell” since his brother’s death in a crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

      He wrote to Mr. Boris Johnson, saying he was “sick and tired” of seeing his parents suffer and urged him to intervene.

      Suspect Anne Sacoolas left for the United States after the crash in August, citing diplomatic immunity.
      In the letter, he urged Mr Johnson to take up the case as his family believes the Foreign Office has “made a mess” of the case and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had “lost control of this scandal”.

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