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US dismisses charges against Indian diplomat Khobragade

Published on Mar 13, 2014 4:23 PM

NEW YORK/NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - An Indian diplomat charged in New York with visa fraud and making false statements about her domestic worker has won a dismissal of her federal indictment, in a move that could help smooth over a dispute that has frayed US-India ties.

Ms Devyani Khobragade, who was India's deputy consul-general in New York, had diplomatic immunity when she sought on Jan 9 to dismiss the indictment, and thus could not be prosecuted, US District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday.

New Delhi gave a cautious welcome to the news but it was far from clear if the matter had been fully resolved. US prosecutors could still seek a fresh indictment, while in India reports emerged that Ms Khobragade's two children held both US and Indian passports, in apparent violation of Indian rules.

India is due to kick off a general election on April 7 and its major political parties have vied to outdo each other in condemning the US over the Khobragade case, as they seek to match public anger over the row.

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