Federal Judge Drops Charges Against Indian Diplomat
March 13, 2014 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
NEW YORK (UPI) — A federal judge in New York City has dropped charges against an Indian diplomat who was kicked out of the United States last year for alleged visa fraud.
Devyani Khobragade was charged with visa fraud and making false statements for her nanny, who allegedly was paid as little as $3 an hour for more than 100 hours a week, the New York Post reported.
Judge Shira Scheindlin Wednesday dropped the charges against Khobragade.
“The government may not proceed on an indictment obtained when Khobragade was immune from the jurisdiction of the court,” Scheindlin wrote.
The ruling, however, allows Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to bring new charges against the diplomat, the New York Daily News reported.
“There is currently no bar to a new indictment against [Khobragade] for her alleged criminal conduct, and we intend to proceed accordingly,” Bharara spokesman James Margolin said in a statement.
If new charges are filed against Khobragade, she will be rearrested, should she return to the United States.
Khobragade’s lawyer called Wednesday’s decision a win.
“The court determined that the legal arguments we made were correct,” lawyer Daniel Arshack said. “My client is pleased that the rule of law has prevailed.”