POLITICS
11/07/2013 08:54 BST

Russian Diplomats With Immunity Accused Of Drunk Driving In Britain

Putin's diplmats have been accused of 'serious offences' in London
PA
Putin's diplmats have been accused of 'serious offences' in London

Last year 12 "serious offences" were allegedly committed by people entitled to diplomatic immunity in the UK, the Foreign Office (FCO) has revealed.

In a statement to MPs on Thursday, the FCO said among the offences reported were three instances of a Russian diplomat driving while drunk.

A diplomat from Tanzania was accused of actual bodily harm and a diplomat from Bangladesh was alleged to have abused a domestic worker.

A "serious offence" is defined as those which could, in certain circumstances, carry a penalty of 12-months imprisonment or more. Also included are drink-driving and driving without insurance.

Diplomatic immunity means diplomats in foreign countries are not subject to the law of the country they live in while conducting their embassy duties.

Some 22,500 people are entitled to diplomatic immunity in the UK and the FCO said it "does not tolerate foreign diplomats breaking the law".

The statement said: "We take all allegations of illegal activity seriously. When instances of alleged criminal conduct are brought to our attention by the police, we ask the relevant foreign government to waive diplomatic immunity where appropriate.

It added: "For the most serious offences, we seek the immediate withdrawal of the diplomat."

Full List Of Alleged Offences

Driving without insurance

Mongolia: 1

Panama: 1

Saudi Arabia: 1

Guatemala: 1

Driving under the influence of drink

Russia: 3

Sri Lanka: 1

Equatorial Guinea: 1

Uzbekistan: 1

Abuse of a domestic worker

Bangladesh: 1

Actual bodily harm

Tanzania: 1