Following the Thursday announcement of a federal grand jury indictment against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and making false statements, the Indian former deputy consul general to the Indian Consulate in New York departed the U.S. for India.
Citing an anonymous U.S. official, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of State had officially asked India to arrange Khobragade's departure.
On Wednesday, prior to the indictment, the State Department agreed to an Indian request to grant Khobragade diplomatic accreditation to the Indian Mission to the UN, allowing her higher level diplomatic immunity than she had at the consulate. Because immunity is not retroactive to the time of her arrest, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara stated that the charges are "pending until such time as she can be brought to court to face them."
Khobragade was arrested in December 2013 for making false statements in support of a visa application for an Indian national whom she had brought to New York as part of her household staff, and for paying the staff member less than minimum wage. The Federal District Court indictment carried the same charges for which she was arrested. The indictment also revealed accusations that Khobragade and others tried to "silence and intimidate the victim and her family and lie to Indian authorities and courts."
[Washington Post] [UPI]