World News

State Dept: US Orders Indian Diplomat Out of the Country

(writethru clarifying time frame and status)

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has been ordered to leave the United States for allegedly lying on a visa application for her maid.

A State Department spokesman said Khobragade was still in the United States as of Thursday evening, but he expected her to leave soon, after India turned down a U.S. request to waive her diplomatic immunity.

Khobragade has been serving as India's deputy counsel general in New York. But on Thursday, following standard procedure, U.S. officials accepted India's request to change her accreditation to the United Nations as a diplomat, giving her full immunity.

Once she had full immunity, the State Department asked India to waive it so that Khobragade could face charges. But India denied the request.

The spokesman said the charges against her will not be dropped when she leaves the country, and she will face them if she returns.

U.S. authorities arrested Khobragade last month. India alleges that she was stripped-searched while in custody.

She is accused of paying her housekeeper much less than minimum wage and lying about it on the maid's visa application.

The situation has created a firestorm between the two countries. Indian officials have lifted some diplomatic immunity for U.S. officials in New Delhi and have ordered the U.S. Embassy to restrict service at an Embassy club for diplomats.

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