Devyani Khobragade has no immunity, says US

Khobragade enjoys no immunity from criminal prosecution on charges of visa fraud and making false statements, said US.

New York | Updated: February 2, 2014 4:11 am
The US said federal authorities were not wrong in arresting and detaining Khobragade on visa fraud charges. The US said federal authorities were not wrong in arresting and detaining Khobragade on visa fraud charges.

The US State Department has contended that Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade does not enjoy immunity from prosecution on charges of visa fraud and making false statements but her lawyer on Saturday rejected the assertion, saying the issue will be decided by the court.

Papers submitted to a court here on Friday by Manhattan’s federal prosecutor, India-born Preet Bharara, concluded that US authorities were not wrong in arresting and detaining Khobragade on visa fraud charges on December 12 since she did not have full diplomatic immunity in her capacity as India’s Deputy Consul General.

The declaration, dated January 29 and signed by Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the Department of State Stephen Kerr, was submitted by Bharara in support of his memorandum opposing 39-year-old Khobragade’s motion to dismiss the indictment against her.

“The Department of State concludes that Dr Khobragade did not enjoy immunity from arrest or detention at the time of her arrest in this case, and she does not presently enjoy immunity from prosecution for the crimes charged in the indictment,” the declaration said.

Responding to Bharara’s motion, Khobragade’s attorney Daniel Arshack told PTI that the “US Attorney is again wrong on the facts and the law”. The court will decide these issues, he said. Arshack has time till February 7 to file his reply to the government’s motion.

The declaration was among eight documents that Bharara submitted in court as proof that Khobragade is not immune from prosecution and that the indictment against her should not be dismissed. Bharara’s motion came in response to Arshack’s request to the court on January 14 to dismiss the indictment and terminate any “open” arrest warrants or requests for her extradition.

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First Published on: February 2, 2014 12:29 am
  1. D
    Diplomat
    Feb 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    Some people think they are above gods or their state or country, or law, is above gods These people think it is ok to strip, kidnap, ually ault, steal DNA of people without diplomatic immunity. These people also think that punishment should be delivered before due judicial process.
    Reply
    1. J
      Jasmine L Sunil
      Feb 2, 2014 at 12:29 am
      The latest memoum filed by Mr. Bharara’s office brings to light several new facts regarding the defence’s claim that CRIMINAL DALIT Khobragade had full UN diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest, an “ertion [that] is incorrect and flatly rejected by the US State Department.”In this regard the U.S. Attorney noted four key facts. First, the memoum notes, CRIMINAL Khobragade “was not exercising any function related to UN representation at, or immediately before or after, the time of her arrest…” and was not travelling to or from places where UNGA meetings were occurring.Second, Section 11 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN applies to “high-level non-resident” diplomats and not consular officer of the rank of ACCUSED Khobragade because she “did not travel from India to New York for business before the UN; she resided in New York as India’s Deputy Consul General and that is why she was in New York at the time of her arrest.”Third, Mr. Bharara’s office argued, CRIMINAL Devyani Khobragade’s UN Accreditation Record “does not say what she claims it says,” and contrary to the defence claim that it establishes her appointment to the UN from August 26 2013, “continuing unabated through and including December 31 2013,” it suggests an “arrival date” of August 26 and “departure date” of August 31 this regard the U.S. Attorney also echoed the State Department view that Ms. Khobragade’s name appearing on a list of those appearing at the UN between August 2013 and August 2016 was “incorrect and meaningless” as the 68th UNGA ended in December 2013 and the Indian Prime Minister’s engagement in September 2013.Finally, Mr. Bharara’s memoum notes, “No dual-accreditation request was sent to the US State Department’s Office of Protocol,” and for this reason at all times she only remained identified by the Protocol Office as Deputy Consul General and her name was not in the UNGA delegation members list produced by the UN.
      Reply
      1. J
        Jasmine L Sunil
        Feb 2, 2014 at 12:29 am
        The latest memoum filed by Mr. Bharara’s office brings to light several new facts regarding the defence’s claim that CRIMINAL DALIT Khobragade had full UN diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest, an “ertion [that] is incorrect and flatly rejected by the US State Department.”In this regard the U.S. Attorney noted four key facts. First, the memoum notes, CRIMINAL Khobragade “was not exercising any function related to UN representation at, or immediately before or after, the time of her arrest…” and was not travelling to or from places where UNGA meetings were occurring.Second, Section 11 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN applies to “high-level non-resident” diplomats and not consular officer of the rank of ACCUSED Khobragade because she “did not travel from India to New York for business before the UN; she resided in New York as India’s Deputy Consul General and that is why she was in New York at the time of her arrest.”Third, Mr. Bharara’s office argued, CRIMINAL Devyani Khobragade’s UN Accreditation Record “does not say what she claims it says,” and contrary to the defence claim that it establishes her appointment to the UN from August 26 2013, “continuing unabated through and including December 31 2013,” it suggests an “arrival date” of August 26 and “departure date” of August 31 this regard the U.S. Attorney also echoed the State Department view that Ms. Khobragade’s name appearing on a list of those appearing at the UN between August 2013 and August 2016 was “incorrect and meaningless” as the 68th UNGA ended in December 2013 and the Indian Prime Minister’s engagement in September 2013.Finally, Mr. Bharara’s memoum notes, “No dual-accreditation request was sent to the US State Department’s Office of Protocol,” and for this reason at all times she only remained identified by the Protocol Office as Deputy Consul General and her name was not in the UNGA delegation members list produced by the UN.!!#%&&
        Reply
        1. I
          IndianByHeart
          Feb 1, 2014 at 8:07 am
          So much resentment....Preet Bharara,is he really an Indian-origin guy ?
          Reply