Disappointed over re-indictment of Khobragade: MEA

Gurgaon, Mar.15: Expressing disappointment over re-indicting of charges against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by the New York based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Saturday said this unnecessary step has no merit.

“We are disappointed that a relevant office of the U.S. Department of Justice chose to obtain an indictment against Devyani Khobragade,” said Akbaruddin.

“This despite the fact, that the first indictment and the arrest warrant were dismissed earlier this year. This was an unnecessary step. Any measures consequent to this decision in the U.S. will unfortunately impact upon efforts of both the sides to build the India-U.S. strategic partnership to which both sides are committed,” he added.

He reiterated that the case has no merit,and therefore, this second indictment has no impact on India’s stated position.

“Now that Khobragade has returned to India, the court in the U.S. has no jurisdictions over her in India. The government will, therefore, no longer engage on this case in the U.S. legal system,” he said.

On Friday, Bharara, a fierce critic of the Indian diplomat in New York, oversaw the filing of a fresh indictment against Devyani Khobragade a day after a district judge had dismissed the case against her. The court had ruled that she had diplomatic immunity when she was charged earlier.

The ruling had given Bharara leeway to re-indict her by indicating the immunity was good only as long as she was assigned to the UN in New York, and the prosecutors were free to charge her anew since she had moved on from that window. (ANI)