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Diplomatic immunity employs officials from overseas above the law of the two countries in which they live. Is the system is accessible to mistreat?

Imagine interrupting the law and no-one can stop you. Rejecting parking tickets. Never levy. Get away with murder.

It’s all possible, in theory, if you’re an ambassador. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, mediators are immune from prosecution in their legion country.

The system has long demonstrated controversial – not least since PC Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984 – and is once again for the purposes of the spotlight thanks to an unique combat campaign in London’s courts.

Saudi businessman Sheikh Walid Juffali launched a diplomatic immunity defence after his ex-wife, former Pirelli model Christina Estrada, made a claim on his estimated 4bn rich. The court heard they separated in 2013.

In a move that had led to raised eyebrows in the press, Juffali was appointed in 2014 by the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia as its permanent representative to the International maritime organization( IMO ), which has its secretariat in London.

In February, Mr Justice Hayden governed at the High-pitched Court this diplomatic status was an “an solely artificial construct” as Juffali had “no pre-existing connection to St Lucia” and there was no evidence that he had “any knowledge or event of maritime matters”.


Article 29, The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations( 1961)

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“The party of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of detain or quarantine. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, liberty or dignity.” In 2013, Indian deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade( pictured) was arrested in New York on feeling of visa fraud – her role as a consul did not render diplomatic immunity but the Indian authority moved her to its own position at the UN, where she would be covered by exemption. Khobragade disclaimed any immorality Qatari Sheikh Khalid Hamad Al-Thani left the US hurriedly after video footage developed demo his Ferrari drag racing through Beverley Hills; whether or not he had diplomatic immunity was feuded, and it was never proven who was driving regardless Russian diplomat Dmitry Borodin was arrested in the Netherlands and detained for three hours by police, despite his diplomatic immunity; local media reported that police were called over suspect mistreatment of children and that Borodin was drunk when detained. The Russian foreign ministry and Borodin energetically repudiated the allegations In 1997 Georgian official Gueorgui Makharadze had his diplomatic immunity waived by his government after he caused a five-car pile-up in Washington DC resulting in the death of a teenage daughter Image caption Sheikh Walid Juffali with his former bride Christina Estrada

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