- Noted March 13
On Wednesday, federal Judge Shira Scheindlin dismissed the high-profile case against Devyani Khobragade, India's former acting consul general in New York, on relatively narrow grounds involving diplomatic immunity. When U.S. prosecutors had Khobragade arrested in 2013 for alleged visa fraud and illegally underpaying her domestic help, they insisted that her job at the consulate didn't provide her diplomatic immunity against the charges. The day before they indicted her, however, Khobragade was transferred to India's United Nations mission, where she did have broad immunity. Because she had the greater diplomatic protections when she was indicted, the case had to be tossed, Scheindlin ruled.
Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said he will pursue a new indictment against Khobragade, based on an opening in Scheindlin's ruling. Khobragade's lawyer, Daniel Arshack, essentially threatened Bharara not to file new charges, which he said "might be viewed an aggressive act and one that (prosecutors) would be ill-advised to pursue." The case roiled diplomatic relations between the U.S. and India. --Peter Weber
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