UN Approves India's Request to Accredit Diplomat Charged by US
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Nations approved a request from India to accredit a New York-based diplomat after her arrest by US authorities on criminal charges including visa fraud, a UN official said.
Indian media said the request to transfer Devyani Khobragade, who was deputy consul-general in New York, to the United Nations was aimed at ending the stand-off with the United States in the hopes that her new diplomatic status could allow New Delhi to bring her home without the prosecution proceeding.
"The UN has processed the request to register Ms. Khobragade as a member of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN," a UN source said on condition of anonymity. "However, the final stop in the process is the US (State Department)."
Khobragade's arrest on December 12 has enraged India, which is demanding that all charges be dropped against her. She was strip searched when arrested in what the US Marshals Service said was a routine procedure imposed on any new arrestee at the federal courthouse.
Khobragade pleaded not guilty to charges of visa fraud and making false statements about how much she paid her housekeeper. She was released on $250,000 bail, Reuters reported.
As India's deputy consul general in New York, Khobragade had only limited diplomatic immunity from prosecution - not the more sweeping immunity accorded to UN-accredited diplomats.
Khobragade's lawyer, Daniel Arshack, told Reuters that "the UN forwarded her materials on to the State Department, which has not yet acted on the visa transfer request."