In relief for Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a US judge has dismissed a federal indictment against her in a visa fraud case, ruling that she had full diplomatic immunity.
District Judge Shira Scheindlin said “it is undisputed” that the diplomat acquired full diplomatic immunity at 5.47 pm on January 8 after the US State Department approved her accreditation as a counsellor to India’s mission to the UN.
The ruling, however, left open the possibility that US prosecutors could bring a new indictment against Khobragade, and they “intend to proceed accordingly”, said James Margolin, a spokesman for Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.
Khobragade’s lawyer said any decision to re-indict her might well be viewed as an “aggressive and unnecessary act”.
A MEA spokesperson said the dismissal of charges was “good as far as it goes”.
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Judge Scheindlin has not barred the prosecution from bringing new charges stemming from allegations that Khobragade made a false statement regarding the visa application of her domestic help Sangeeta Richard, who later left her.