Indian Diplomat Given A Get Out Of Jail Free Card
Although a federal grand jury indicted Indian consulate head Devyani Khobragade for visa fraud and making false statements today, she probably won't be tried for it — instead the State Department has decided to grant her diplomatic immunity.
Khobragade's arrest and subsequent booking — which included a strip search — last month angered Indian officials, who retaliated by downgrading American diplomatic status in India and removing concrete safety barriers from in front of the American embassy.
Khobragade was accused of paying her nanny $3.31 an hour and lying about it on the woman's visa application. The indictment also included an accusation that Ms. Khobragade attempted to "silence and intimidate the victim and her family and lie to Indian authorities and courts."
According to the New York Times, Khobragade's case is one of twenty domestic-worker trafficking lawsuits filed against diplomats in the last decade, many with strikingly similar details. At the time of her arrest, the United States denied that diplomatic immunity applied, saying that visa fraud wasn't covered under the Vienna convention.
It's still not clear where exactly Khobragade was — US Attorney Preet Bharara first said she had already left the country, but Khobragade's attorney also made a statement saying she's still in her New York apartment with her kids.