Judge: US citizen serving as foreign diplomat can face trial

AP News
Posted: Feb 04, 2016 9:37 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan judge has ruled that a U.S. citizen serving as a foreign diplomat is not immune from criminal prosecution.

U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick ruled Thursday that Francis Lorenzo can be prosecuted in a United Nations bribery case. Lorenzo had claimed he was entitled to diplomatic immunity as an ambassador from the Dominican Republic.

The judge says Lorenzo's interpretation of law would mean he could not be criminally prosecuted for any crime as a U.S. citizen. Broderick said diplomatic immunity was not designed to give diplomats with dual citizenship a "get out of jail free card."

Broderick says Lorenzo can still claim immunity from prosecution for official acts taken in connection with his diplomatic position.

Defense lawyer Brian Bieber says he was extremely disappointed.

Lorenzo is free on bail.