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Diplomatic Immunity

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the procedure by which the police seek to verify the legitimacy of claims for diplomatic immunity by persons being questioned about or charged with criminal offences; if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to how this procedure applied in the case of the husband of the United States diplomat in respect of whom diplomatic immunity was not waived; and what stage the police inquiries had reached in this case when immunity was claimed.

The verification arrangements are set out in the consolidated circular to the police, a copy of which is in the Library. The Department received a report of the incident two days after the police interview with Mr. James Ingley on 18 December 1985. No claim to immunity was made at that time, but police inquiries had meanwhile established entitlement to immunity and Mr. Ingley was accordingly released on the same day.We understand that Mr. Ingley no longer has immunity, and the alleged offence is extraditable under the United States-United Kingdom extradition treaty. The Crown Prosecution Service was asked to consider the evidence. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions has now decided that the evidence is insufficient for a prosecution, and therefore no basis for an extradition request exists.