Untouchable and unruly diplomats ruffling political feathers

There have been 19 cases of diplomats avoiding punishment since 2012

According to information from the Foreign Ministry that Metroxpress newspaper has come into possession of, since 2012 there have been at least 19 cases involving diplomats who have avoided being punished thanks to their diplomatic immunity.

The Foreign Ministry has refused to reveal information concerning three of the cases as well as the nationalities of the diplomats involved. At least two political parties – government coalition support party Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) and opposition party Dansk Folkeparti (DF) – want that changed.

“It insults my sense of justice that these people can’t be punished,” Karina Lorentzen, SF’s spokesperson on justice issues, told Metroxpress.

“I actually think that the Foreign Ministry should look into whether diplomatic immunity is obsolete. We should look at this internationally.”

READ MORE: Human rights advocates have a new friend in the diplomatic corps

It takes all kinds
The 19 cases included drink driving, a hit-and-run that sent a bicyclist to the trauma centre at the hospital, wife beating, the theft of clothes and jewellery, and the striking of a police officer. One of the more bizarre cases included the groping of the crotch of a pizza delivery boy.

Hiding behind the cloak of 'diplomatic immunity', a line immortalised by Joss Ackland in the film 'Lethal Weapon II', foreign diplomats have been immune to lawsuit or persecution under the host country’s laws since the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was signed back in 1961. They can, however, still be expelled.

Thus far, the Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on the issue.




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