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US won't withdraw case against Khobragade, to file indictment: Sources


Suhasini Haidar, Priyanka Gupta, CNN-IBN
Dec 31, 2013 at 10:19am IST

Washington: The standoff between India and the US over the arrest and humiliating treatment meted out to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a former Deputy Consular General, is yet to come to an end. According to sources, the case against Khobragade, who has been shifted to India's Permanent Mission in United Nations for full diplomatic immunity, over visa fraud allegations will not be withdrawn.

US prosecutors are also scheduled to file Khobragade's indictment on January 13. However, in a slight respite, she might be exempted from court presence because of her UN immunity and the case against her will remain suspended.

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Sources also said that the US continues to maintain its stand and said that Devyani did not enjoy full diplomatic immunity at present. Though if she gets UN immunity the diplomat cannot be prosecuted or brought to court for the period of the immunity. The case will be in "suspension" but will not be dismissed, they said.

After getting the UN immunity if she went back to India and then again comes on a visit to the US, she could face arrest since the charges would stand, the sources added.

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While the Indian government has demanded withdrawal of the case and an apology from the US, they believe that there is no question of apology to India over the arrest which has led to strong protests by the Indian government and widespread indignation in India.

They said that everything with regard to the Indian diplomat had been done by the book and that there was no nefarious motive.

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Meanwhile, India continues to mount pressure on the US in Washington as officials are monitoring the inter-agency committee. India's lawyers are planning a fool-proof case including pushing for immunity plea for Khobragade.

In Delhi, pressure is being applied on by scrutiny of US Embassy and consular activities including the hiring of American Embassy school teachers and diplomats' partners. Wages paid by US diplomats to their domestic assistants in India and a full scrutiny of taxes paid and commercial activity at the Embassy's American community Support Association is also under scrutiny.

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After getting the UN immunity if she went back to India and then again comes on a visit to the US, she could face arrest since the charges would stand, the sources added.

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