India Disappointed After U.S. Re-Indicts Diplomat

Image: File photo of Devyani Khobragade attending the India Studies Stony Brook University fundraiser event in Long Island New York
Devyani Khobragade has been indicted for visa fraud but has already left the U.S. with diplomatic immunity.Mohammed Jaffer / Reuters

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Indian officials said they were disappointed after a grand jury in New York returned a new indictment against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade for visa fraud, two days after a U.S. judge dismissed a similar indictment because she had diplomatic immunity.

"This was an unnecessary step," read a statement released by the Indian government Saturday. "Any measures consequent to this decision in the U.S., will unfortunately impact upon efforts on both sides to build the India-U.S. strategic partnership, to which both sides are committed."

Khobragade's arrest in December and a subsequent strip search drew outrage in India, causing a major diplomatic rift between the United States and India.

The United States granted her immunity and then essentially had her expelled from the country in a flurry of diplomatic maneuvers on Jan. 9, the same day she was indicted for the first time.

The Indian government added: "Now that Dr. Khobragade has returned to India, the Court in the United States has no jurisdiction in India over her. Government will therefore no longer engage on this case in the United States' legal system."

Reuters contributed to this report.