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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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