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  •  U.S.-India Relations Continue To Deteriorate (13+ / 0-)

    From BBC News: Devyani Khobragade row: 'No delay' in US trial

    A US federal judge has denied a request by the lawyer of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade to delay proceedings in a case of visa fraud that has led to a diplomatic row and outrage in India.

    Judge Sarah Netburn has refused to extend the deadline of 13 January for the indictment of the diplomat.

    Ms Khobragade was detained on charges of visa fraud and of underpaying her housekeeper in New York last month. She denies all the charges and has been released on bail. India has demanded an apology from the US over her alleged "humiliation".

    In the last few weeks, Delhi has ordered a series of diplomatic reprisal measures against the US.

    Security barricades around the US embassy in the capital were removed and a visiting US delegation was snubbed by senior Indian politicians and officials. And on Wednesday, the US embassy in Delhi was ordered to stop "commercial activities on its premises". India also said that embassy cars could be penalised for traffic offences. The embassy has been told to shut down a club within its premises which includes a pool, restaurant and tennis court, NDTV news channel said.

    From CNBC (via Financial Times): US energy secretary delays India trip
    U.S. energy secretary Ernest Moniz will not travel to India as planned next week, an energy department official said on Wednesday, the most serious repercussion yet in a dispute over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.

    Mr Moniz's trip is the latest and most serious casualty in an escalating row over the treatment of Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York.

    This all stems from the arrest of Khobragade last month. She is India's deputy consul general for political, economic, commercial and women’s affairs, and was arrested for allegedly falsifying a visa application where she claimed to have been paying her nanny $4500/month, when in fact Khobragade was paying her a slave wage ($573/month or $3.31/hour).

    As part of her arrest & within the U.S. Marshals' procedure, Khobragade was strip-searched for weapons and contraband. This has pissed off the Indian government something awful, which claims Khobragade has diplomatic immunity. However, federal prosecutors believe that given Khobragade's position as a consular officer, the terms of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations does not cover her alleged actions of visa fraud, since they are not within the scope of her official duties for the Indian government.

    •  Cutting off nose (0+ / 0-)

      The importance of the Moniz trip to India would have been to discuss further sales of US shale gas to India and, presumably, to allow US companies to exploit the gas and oil reserves now being found in India.

      In geo-political terms, this gas could equally well be supplied by either Iran or some of the central Asian "stans" where gas reserves are now being exploited and a pipeline through to India is being mooted.  

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:52:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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