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Devyani had full diplomatic immunity when she was arrested

The diplomat was released on a USD 250,000 bond after being charged with visa fraud.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 27, 2013 1:04:42 am

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade,when she was arrested on December 12,had full diplomatic immunity including from arrest and detention,it has emerged.

She had been accredited as a diplomat for the UN in August,as an advisor. According to sources,Khobragade — who was Deputy Consul General in New York when arrested — was also accredited as an “Advisor to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations” by the UN from August 26,2013 and her status as an advisor was valid until December 31. She had been accredited for the UN General Assembly,2013.

Under the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,Article 4 Section 11A specifies “Immunities from personal arrest or detention and from the seizure of their personal baggage” for all representatives of members of the UN and specifies that the “representative” shall mean all delegates,deputy delegates,advisors,technical experts and secretaries of delegations.

“Her arrest,therefore,on December 12,2013 was contrary to her status on that date,” sources said,adding India has taken up the matter with the US State Department.

The 1999-batch IFS officer was arrested on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richards. The diplomat was released on a USD 250,000 bond after being charged with visa fraud.

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