Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has moved a federal court here to dismiss the visa fraud case against her, saying there is lack of personal jurisdiction since she had been accorded full diplomatic immunity by the US Department of State. Khobragade’s lawyer Daniel Arshack submitted a four-page “motion seeking dismissal of action for lack of personal jurisdiction” Thursday with Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the US District Court of the Southern District of New York.
Khobragade flew back to India on Thursday night from the JFK airport on an Air India flight after she was accorded diplomatic immunity and asked to depart from the US. Arshack said in his motion that even as the US Department of State fully credentialed Khobragade as a diplomat assigned to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, “additionally and unexpectedly, they have required her immediate departure from the US.”
“Khobragade hereby moves this court for a dismissal of this prosecution for a lack of personal jurisdiction now that she has been designated as a diplomat and has acquired immunity. The case should be dismissed without necessity of any further hearing or proceedings because Khobragade as a diplomat is entitled to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution in accordance with Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” he said.
The US State department has assured Khobragade that her departure in compliance with their order does not constitute a violation of the terms of her release from the court on bond on the visa fraud and false statements charges she faces.