Devyani Khobragade, whose arrest in December caused a rift in diplomatic relations between the United States and India, has been asked to leave the country. The Indian government refused to waive her diplomatic immunity and so, despite being indicted on charges of visa fraud and making false statements, there is little else the American government can do to prosecute her.
Kohbragade, India's deputy consul-general in New York, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in mid-December. Her arrested caused outrage when it was also disclosed that she had been strip-searched during her detainment—a procedure that the Marshals say is routine. In response, India instituted a number of measures against the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, including removing security barricades in front of the complex.
The complexities of international diplomacy and bureaucracy have made the case a bit of a headache. Khobragade was granted immunity by Washington officials at the Indian government's request—requests which are almost always honored unless the subject is a significant threat—and then officials asked the Indian government to waive said immunity. That was refused, and so that State Department suggested that Khobragade leave the country.
The latest reports from the Associated Press say that the diplomat has left the U.S. This is in spite of that fact that her bail conditions contain language tell her not to leave New York, an oddity that the judge noted.
It is unclear whether Khobragade is allowed to return to America at a later time. Her husband is a U.S. citizen, and she requested to be allowed to return, but according to The Guardian, that request was not fulfilled.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.