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India diplomat indicted, asked to leave US

Published on Jan 10, 2014 7:09 AM
Ms Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul-general, attends the India Studies Stony Brook University fundraiser event in Long Island, New York, on Dec 8, 2013. Ms Khobragade, whose arrest and strip-searching in New York caused a major rift between India and the United States (US), was indicted for visa fraud on Jan 9, 2014, and the US government immediately asked her to leave the country. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip-searching in New York caused a major rift between India and the United States will leave the country on Thursday night after the US State Department requested her immediate departure, her defence lawyer said.

Devyani Khobragade was charged with visa fraud and accused of filing false information to the US authorities to get a work visa for her Indian helper. She was indicted by a US grand jury on two felony counts that carry a maximum prison term of 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Washington accredited the diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, at the United Nations, giving her immunity from criminal prosecution, and asked her to leave the country after India
refused to waive her immunity.

“As a result of her diplomatic status having been recognized, the federal court today recognised Dr Khobragade’s right to travel and she is pleased to be returning to her country,” said her defence lawyer, Daniel Arshack, in a statement.

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