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Second indictment of Khobragade unnecessary: India

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The second indictment of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in a visa fraud case in the US was an “unnecessary step”, India said Saturday.

“The second indictment of Devyani Khobragade is an unnecessary step. We are disappointed. We reiterate that the case has no merit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said in a tweet.

“India’s government will no longer engage on this case in the US legal system,” he said.

He added that the second indictment will have no impact on India’s stated position.

Dashing hopes of a closure of the Khobragade affair, Indian American prosecutor Preet Bharara secured a fresh indictment of the diplomat who is at the centre of a major diplomatic row.

Two days after a New York judge dismissed the visa fraud case against Khobragade, India’s then consul general in New York whose Dec 12 arrest and strip search strained ties between the two countries, a US grand jury Friday again indicted her on the same criminal charges.

Khobragade’s father Uttam Khobragade also lashed out at the US Saturday.

“This was not done by the court, it has been initiated by the prosecutor. This is a clear attack against the sovereignty of India. This shows that the US doesn’t even respect their own court rules and are flouting it brazenly,” Uttam Khobragade said.

Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, was granted full diplomatic immunity and flew back to India Jan 10. She has since been transferred to the external affairs ministry in Delhi.

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