Wednesday, March 19, 2014

World News: Indian diplomat re-indicted after U.S. court acquittal

Here we go again.

A report by the IB Times this week said a grand jury in the United States has re-indicted Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade in the visa fraud case which led to retaliatory measures from India and strained relations between the countries.
Khobragade has been charged with underpaying her Indian maid Sangeeta Richards and making false representations to U.S. immigration officials about her maid's salary by having two different contracts with her. The diplomat had provided evidence to fight the charge, according to the IB Times.

The 21-page indictment filed by the U.S. claims that Khobragade "illegally" underpaid and "exploited" her domestic maid, as another arrest warrant was issued against the diplomat.

Khobragade was allowed to return to India and was acquitted by a U.S. judge two days ago on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. The Manhattan judge in a statement wrote that "even if Khobragade had no immunity at the time of her arrest and has none now, her acquisition of immunity during the pendency of proceedings mandates dismissal. The government may not proceed on an indictment obtained when Khobragade was immune from the jurisdiction of the court."

The judge did not bar the prosecution from bringing new indictments against the diplomat on the very allegations she was acquitted of. The Indian government is upset over the re-indictment. A spokesman for the Indian external affairs ministry told IB Times that the U.S. has no jurisdiction over her in India, and the government will no longer engage with the U.S. legal system on the case.

The spokesman added any measures regarding the decision will impact efforts on both sides to build the strategic partnership between the countries. What do you make of this fiasco?

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