LONDON: Referring to the list of law offending diplomats, which includes two Pakistanis accused of rape and kidnapping, prepared by United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Thursday said that in both cases allegations seemed to be motivated by desire to seek asylum.
The Independent had reported on July 16 that the FCO prepared a list of law offending diplomats.
The FCO’s list of “Serious and Significant Offences Involving Diplomats in 2013” was presented by FCO Minister Mark Simmonds in the British Parliament on Tuesday.
The list details serious offences committed by 14 officials from nine different countries who were not prosecuted owing to their diplomatic immunity. It also includes two Pakistani diplomats for allegedly committing domestic rape and child abduction.
“One case is based on charges of marital rape leveled by his wife. She also alleged that he abducted their children and brought them to Pakistan,” the foreign office spokesperson stated during her weekly briefing in Islamabad today.
She added that “as per the High Commission, the wife had a premature delivery after which she was not able to look after her other children. By mutual agreement, they sent the children to their family in Pakistan.”
“Matrimonial relations between the couple became tense as she wanted to settle in UK permanently under any circumstances, while he was not inclined. On his refusal, she leveled theses charges. Subsequently, when she applied for asylum, she leveled these allegations as well,” she further stated.
“The other case is also similar. Again it was the wife, interested in seeking asylum, who leveled the charges against her husband,” Aslam remarked.
She further added that “according to our High Commission, the wife had developed contacts with some local women who even employed her in their laundry. She is also seeking asylum.”
FCO Minister had earlier said that the FCO had requested respective governments to lift immunity from diplomats accused in five cases of serious crimes last year, in line with provisions under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
In the case of the Pakistani diplomats, the Pakistani government partially lifted immunity so that one diplomat could be interviewed by the police even though there was no legal obligation to comply with the British request.
Without providing details, Simmonds said two other diplomats, for whom immunity was requested to be lifted, had been voluntarily recalled by their countries of origin. A fourth diplomat was asked by the FCO to leave the UK.
At least three Zambian diplomats found themselves on the FCOs list for offences ranging from driving under the influence of alcohol, causing bodily harm to sexual assault.
Two Kuwaiti diplomats were included in the list for driving under influence and committing a public order offence. Two Saudi diplomats were included on the list for driving while drunk — an offence which would incur serious punishment in their home country.
However, the unnamed diplomats are protected under the Vienna Convention, meaning they cannot be prosecuted by the host country unless their country of origin waives their immunity.
“The number of alleged serious crimes committed by members of the diplomatic community in the UK is proportionately low,” Simmonds said, adding that “The FCO does not tolerate foreign diplomats breaking the law.”
The minister said that the UK does everything in its power to investigate diplomats accused of serious crimes.
Full list of “Serious and Significant Offences” 2013:
Driving a vehicle reported as lost or stolen and without insurance: Sierra Leone 1
Driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and without insurance: El Salvador 1
Driving under the influence of alcohol: Saudi Arabia 2, Belarus 1, Macedonia 1, Kuwait 1, Zambia 1
Sexual Assault: Zambia 1
Domestic Rape: Pakistan 1
Child Abduction: Pakistan 1
Actual Bodily Harm: Cameroon 1, Zambia 1
Public Order Offence: Kuwait 1