TPM News

Indian Diplomat Indicted In NY, Leaves U.S.

Sms3uzsojadw4eu6xr8n
AP Photo / Anthony Behar

The indictment said Khobragade had made or multiple false representations to U.S. authorities, or caused them to be made, to obtain a visa for a personal domestic worker. She planned to bring to worker the United States in September 2012 when she worked at the Consulate General of India in New York, according to the indictment.

Khobragade, 39, India's deputy consul general in New York, has maintained her innocence to accusations that she claimed to pay her Indian maid $4,500 per month but actually gave her far less than the U.S. minimum wage. Her arrest last month sparked outrage in India after revelations that she was strip-searched and thrown in a cell with other criminal defendants before being released on $250,000 bail.

A lawyer for Khobragade did not immediately return a message for comment.

In a letter to the judge, prosecutors said there was no need for an arraignment because Khobragade had "very recently" been given diplomatic immunity status and left the United States on Thursday.

The letter said the charges will remain pending until she can be brought to court to face them, either through a waiver of immunity or her return to the U.S. without immunity status.

"We will alert the court promptly if we learn that the defendant returns to the United States in a non-immune capacity, at which time the government will proceed to prosecute this case and prove the charges in the indictment," the letter from the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Progress overnight on deployment of new commenting system. We hope to move into a short beta-testing phase shortly.