New York prosecutors have secured a second indictment of expelled Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade two days after a judge dismissed the earlier charges because she had immunity at the time.
The new indictment means that Khobragade — whose immunity expired when she left the U.S. — could be prosecuted for alleged fraud in connection with a work visa for a housekeeper if she ever returns to American soil.
The case against her — and her complaint that she was strip-searched and mistreated after her arrest — provoked a nasty diplomatic spat that reverberated from Washington to Delhi.
As an official in the Indian consulate in New York, Khobragade did not have full immunity from criminal prosecution, so after she was charged, she was transferred to a job that did have it.
When she declined to waive immunity, the State Department asked her to leave the country. India then asked Washington to remove an American diplomat from the U.S. embassy.
Khobragade's lawyer, Daniel Arshack, had no immediate comment. "The government of India will respond in due course," he said.
After the charges were dismissed Wednesday, Arshack said a re-indictment "might well be viewed as an aggressive and unnecessary act."
Khobragade is charged with visa fraud and making a false statement for allegedly providing bogus information to get papers for a housekeeper she wanted to bring from India to the U.S. and pay less than minimum wage. She has denied the charges.
First published March 14 2014, 11:23 AM