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Devyani was not handcuffed, says prosecutor Preet Bharara

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Thu, Dec 19, 2013 05:25 hrs
​Devyani

New York: Unfazed by the controversy generated by the case of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, US prosecutor Preet Bharara today said that she was "accorded courtesies" and not handcuffed when she was arrested.

He also vowed to hold those breaking the law accountable "no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are."

In a lengthy and unusual explanation, Bharara said there has been "misinformation and factual inaccuracy" in the reporting on the Khobragade case which is "creating an inflammatory atmosphere."



"There has been much misinformation and factual inaccuracy in the reporting on the charges against Devyani Khobragade. It is important to correct these inaccuracies because they are misleading people and creating an inflammatory atmosphere on an unfounded basis," he said.

"Although I am quite limited in my role as a prosecutor in what I can say, which in many ways constrains my ability here to explain the case to the extent I would like, I can nevertheless make sure the public record is clearer than it has been thus far," Bharara said.

Bharara, Manhattan's top federal prosecutor, maintained that Khobragade evaded US laws designed to protect the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers from exploitation.

"This Office's sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law - no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are," he said.

He further said that legal attempts had begun in India against the victim, who had worked as a domestic help for Khobragade, and attempts were being made to "silence" her.

He said the domestic help's family was brought to the United States to ensure the safety of victims, witnesses and their families, while cases are pending.

He said that she was charged based on conduct as is alleged in the court complaint, that "shows she clearly tried to evade US law designed to protect from exploitation the domestic employees of diplomats and consular officers."

A 1999 batch IFS officer, Khobragade, India's Deputy Consul General in New York, was arrested on December 12 by the State Department's diplomatic security bureau, and then handed over to the US Marshals Service (USMS).

Khobragade was taken into custody as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

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