Person with diplomatic immunity ‘made child porn’ and may have walked free

Person with diplomatic immunity ‘made child porn’ and may have walked free
July 22 01:23 2016 Print This Article
Eleven allegations of serious crimes were reported to the Foreign Office involving diplomats in 2015

Eleven allegations of serious crimes were reported to the Foreign Office involving diplomats in 2015

A person with diplomatic immunity in London allegedly made child porn and forced a child to watch images of sexual activity, MPs were told today.

The individual with links to the Mexican embassy may have escaped justice for his or her deeds.

In another case, a Saudi Arabian diplomat was accused of keeping a domestic slave who had been trafficked into the UK. Again, the official was entitled to diplomatic immunity.

They were among 11 allegations of serious crimes reported to the Foreign Office involving diplomats in 2015, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told MPs.

His written statement did not indicate that anyone had been prosecuted.

Boris Johnson told MPs 11 allegations of serious crimes were reported

Boris Johnson told MPs 11 allegations of serious crimes were reported

There was one claim of “causing a child aged 13 to 15 to watch/look at an image of sexual activity” and another of “taking an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child; and using threatening /abusive/insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress”, both said to involve an individual linked to the Mexican embassy.

Against the Saudi embassy was listed one allegation of “human trafficking into the UK for the purposes of exploitation, specifically domestic servitude” and another of “human trafficking; slavery or servitude/forced or compulsory labour”.

Other allegations included drink-driving by envoys from the US, China and Kazakhstan; driving without insurance by officials from the Commonwealth Secretariat, St Lucia and Nigeria; plus one of actual bodily harm involving an official from Gabon.

“Around 22,500 people are entitled to diplomatic immunity in the United Kingdom and the majority of diplomats abide by UK law,” said Mr Johnson.

Immunity can be waived by an embassy to allow diplomats to be prosecuted, but there was no indication that this happened in these cases.

The Mexican embassy clarified that the individual was not a diplomat or a a Mexican national.  A spokesman said: “Mexico does not tolerate any improper conduct from its diplomatic representatives appointed abroad, and is always keen to fully collaborate with authorities to tackle any misconduct or significant offence.”

A separate statement revealed that US diplomats have run up 89,308 unpaid Congestion Charge fines, totalling £10,626,970. The US embassy insists that the c-charge is a tax and that its staff are entitled to refuse to pay under the Geneva Convention.

And £300,000 of parking fines went unpaid. Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said: “When council budgets are being slashed, the government should do more to pressure embassies to ensure diplomats obey the law of the land as British citizens have to.”

The Foreign Office is understood to have taken a tough line with the suspected offenders. During 2015, it asked for two diplomats and their families to leave the UK, and also made a dependant of a diplomat persona non gratia, which may assist the police in furthering their investigation.

An FCO Spokeswoman said: “The UK Government expects all foreign diplomats to abide by UK laws at all times and we take a firm line with diplomatic missions and international organisations whose diplomats commit offences. All alleged offences are investigated by the police or other law enforcement agencies.

“In the case of the most serious alleged offences, the diplomat in question would be immediately withdrawn from the country unless they cooperate with any investigation under a waiver of immunity granted by their mission.”

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