News / USA

Indian Diplomat Seeks Dismissal of US Criminal Case

Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, India, Jan. 11, 2014.
Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, India, Jan. 11, 2014.
Reuters
A lawyer for Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on Tuesday asked a U.S. judge to throw out immigration and employment charges against her that led to a major diplomatic spat between the United States and India.
 
The lawyer, Daniel Arshack, argued that Khobragade's diplomatic status, granted by the State Department last week as part of a deal allowing her to leave the country, gave her absolute immunity from prosecution, even for incidents that allegedly occurred before her accreditation.
 
The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, which indicted Khobragade on Thursday, did not immediately comment on the filing.
 
Khobragade, a U.S.-based consular official, was arrested on Dec. 12 and accused of underpaying her housekeeper. News of her arrest and a subsequent strip search provoked protests in India and strained ties between the two countries.
 
She was accredited as a member of India's mission to the United Nations on Wednesday, one day before she was indicted and asked to leave the country.
 
In his motion on Tuesday, Arshack said the State Department's own guidance for law enforcement agencies states that immunity extends to incidents that occurred prior to the granting of that immunity. Thus, he said, the case against Khobragade is a “nullity” and should be dismissed.
 
If Judge Shira Scheindlin dismisses the indictment, that would presumably permit Khobragade, whose husband and children are U.S. citizens, to travel freely to the United States.
 
Prosecutors had said last week charges would remain pending against Khobragade until such time as she can be brought to court to face them.
 
State Department officials have said they do not believe her immunity is retroactive. In a press briefing on Friday, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Khobragade would face prosecution if she returned to the United States.
 
“Her accreditation in this case to the U.N. does not remove existing charges,” Psaki said. “In addition, now that she has left the United States, she no longer enjoys immunity.”
 
The case is U.S. v. Khobragade, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 14-cr-00008.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sara from: work
January 14, 2014 6:34 PM
The ONLY person who seems to have won here is the maid Ms.Sangeeta Richard who NOT only got an opportunity to get into the US (something most uneducated Indians can only dream about....courtesy the Indian diplomat), but now can hope to obtain perm. residency too!
Thanks to American government,, maid and her family got free visa to US. Common sense would tell us that maid made all that noise to stay in this country. We know many people all over the world want to come here and waiting for visa, but I have to hand it to the maid for playing the american system . well played. When she was living with Khobragade , she was getting paid salary, her food, insurance, free housing, plane ticket to india and all of that. Calculate all that amount together. This is why, here most of the prisons are over crowded because police accused them for wrongdoings. No wonder government keeps raising the tax to keep these kind of things going. Think about that.


by: Samuel J. from: USA
January 14, 2014 5:50 PM
India has given me proof that it has zero respect for US law and zero respect for the US people.

by: Anonymous
January 14, 2014 4:45 PM
Shame on this diplomat. She thinks US as her third world country, no law is the law.

by: Shankar from: India
January 14, 2014 4:04 PM
Please note that US Diplomats in India pay just Rupees 12000 that is US $ 200/ month to their Indian servants. This shows US's double standards.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More