Woman at center of U.S.-India row wins dismissal of indictment

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 12, 2014 5:07 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Indian woman whose arrest late last year prompted a diplomatic row between her home country and the United States has won the dismissal of a U.S. indictment charging her with visa fraud and making false statements to the government.

Devyani Khobragade, who had been India's deputy consul-general in New York, had diplomatic immunity when she moved to dismiss the indictment on January 9, and as a result was entitled to the case's dismissal, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday.

"The government may not proceed on an indictment obtained when Khobragade was immune from the jurisdiction of the court," Scheindlin wrote. She also lifted Khobragade's bail, and said open arrest warrants based on the indictment must be thrown out.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan had no immediate comment. Khobragade returned to India in January.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)