US to proceed with prosecution of Indian diplomat


121213Khobragade4shThe U.S. is proceeding with the prosecution of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and has no intention to withdraw the case of visa fraud against her.

U.S. sources in New York said on Monday that more evidence was being gathered against the 39-year-old diplomat before the indictment is filed. The deadline for indictment is January 13.

There is no question of apology to India over the arrest of Ms. Khobragade, the then Deputy Consul General of India, in New York on December 12, which has led to strong protests by the Indian government and widespread indignation in India.

The Indian government has demanded withdrawal of the case and an apology for the treatment meted out to the diplomat.

The sources said that the U.S. government intended to proceed with the prosecution of Ms. Khobragade. The indictment will be brought, they emphasized.

They said that everything with regard to the Indian diplomat had been done by the book and that there was no nefarious motive.

The sources replied in the negative when asked if Ms. Khobragade, who has been transferred from the Indian Consulate to the country’s mission to the U.N. subsequent to her arrest, enjoyed full diplomatic immunity at present.

They conceded, though, that if she gets U.N. immunity the diplomat cannot be prosecuted or brought to court for the period of the immunity. The case will be in “suspension” but will not be dismissed, they said.

After getting the U.N. immunity if she went back to India and then again comes on a visit to the U.S., she could face arrest since the charges would stand, the sources added.

The Hindu

Photo: Devyani Khobragade, deputy consul general at the Indian Consulate leaving federal court.