360° Coverage : US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double...

1 Updates

US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double standards?

Dec 20 2013, 5:04am CST | by

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

Washington, Dec 20 — Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

31 weeks ago

US action against Indian diplomat: Classic American double standards?

Dec 20 2013, 5:04am CST | by

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

Washington, Dec 20 — Is the US decision to arrest and strip search Indian diplomat Devyani Khobrgade on charges of visa fraud, sparking a major diplomatic row with what it calls an "incredibly important" partner, a case of classic American double standards?

It would appear so going by at least two recent cases relating to Saudi Arabian and Russian diplomats.

At Thursday's State Department press briefing, spokesperson Marie Harf had no clear answer to the difference in the treatment of Khobragade and "Saudi diplomats who allegedly committed even more egregious crimes."

According to the questioner, two Filipino women were rescued escaping the Saudi diplomatic military attaché's residence in a Washington suburb. But "no Saudi diplomats have been charged, none of them have been cavity-searched."

All that Harf could say in response was that she "was not aware of all the details of that case" and didn't "want to make a comparison about why something was or wasn't done.

"Each case is different, though," she suggested. "Obviously, we take any (such) allegation very seriously and we investigate them when they're brought to our attention."

But the case against the Russians really takes the cake particularly since it took place in the very borough Manhattan's India-born US attorney Preet Bharara, who has brazenly defended his actions against Khobragade as based on the principle of equality before law.

His 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.

It took his office ten long years to make a case against 49 Russian diplomats and their spouses charged with scamming Medicaid, a government health care programme for low-income families, out of $1.5 million over a decade. All of them worked in New York either at the Russian mission to the UN, the Russian consulate or the Russian trade representation office when they committed the alleged fraud.

But Bharara could not lay his hands on any of them. For by the time he filed charges just a week before he chose to act against Khobragade, only 11 of them remained in the US. But none has been taken into custody as they all have diplomatic immunity.

Ten of them are diplomats working with the Russian mission to the UN and their spouses, and one is now stationed at the Russian embassy in Washington. But at the time of the charged offences, he was employed at the consulate in New York.

Harf Thursday suggested that Khobragade, who has been transferred to India's permanent mission to the UN, would not have "retroactive" immunity after her change of status from consular officer to diplomat. If so, how come, the Russian diplomat working in Washington is roaming free when the offence he is charged with took place when he worked at the Russian consulate in New York?

"Diplomacy should be about extending hands, not picking pockets in the host country," said Bharara at a press conference announcing the charges which have next to no chance of moving forward.

But Harf was more circumspect in saying they were still "reviewing the charges" and "the relationship is much bigger and deeper and broader and more complicated than that."

Like in Khobragade's case, Bharara's actions sparked outrage in Russia.

Rejecting the charges, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow had many claims against the behaviour of US diplomats in Moscow but had preferred not to bring them into the public sphere.

It has been two weeks since the charges were filed against the Russians. But to date Moscow has not waived their immunity nor has Washington asked them to leave!

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/27" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving diaspora in North America. Today it is a full-fledged, 24 by 7 agencies putting out the real-time news from India, South Asia and news of interest to this region around the world.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

EU condemns UN shelter shelling, Netanyahu vows tunnel destruction (Roundup)
Jerusalem/Gaza/Brussels, July 31 (IANS) The European Union Thursday condemned strikes on a UN shelter and a crowded market in Gaza, as Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy underground tunnels in the coastal enclave regardless of any possible ceasefire agreement.
 
 
India-origin woman banker jailed for theft in Scotland
London, July 31 (IANS) An Indian-origin woman bank employee has been jailed for stealing 120,000 pounds (around $202,000) from a customer's account in Scotland, a media report said Thursday.
 
 
China launches fresh drive against corruption
Beijing, July 31 (IANS) China's top anti-graft agency has sent 13 inspection teams across the country in its fresh crackdown on official misconduct.
 
 
Muslim priest killed in China, two arrested
Beijing, July 31 (IANS) At least two suspects were shot dead and another arrested after an imam of China's largest mosque was murdered in a city in the country's restive Xinjiang region, police said Thursday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) The following is the list of Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here: Gold: Sanjita Khumukchan: women's 48 kg weightlifting Sukhen Dey: men's 56 kg weightlifting Abhinav Bindra:...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Zoe Saldana is a 'bad influence' on sisters
Zoe Saldana claims she is a ''bad influence'' on her sisters, Mariel and Cisley. The 36-year-old actress, who is reportedly expecting twins with husband Marco Perego, admits she has ''almost 10'' hidden tattoos on her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kylie Jenner gets new Range Rover for birthday
Kylie Jenner has got a new Range Rover ahead of her birthday. The 16-year-old reality TV star - who will turn 17 on August 10 - shared a photograph of the expensive black vehicle, believed to have been a gift from her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ne-Yo sues accountant for $8 million
Ne-Yo is suing his former accountant for $8 million. The 'Closer' hitmaker, real name Shaffer Smith, has filed a new lawsuit against his one-time ''manager, confidant, trusted adviser and friend'' Kevin Foster in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged love letters
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged romantic love letters when they were forced to be apart last year. The 39-year-old actress, who has six children, Maddox, 13, Pax, 10, Zahara, nine, Shiloh, eight, and five-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Perfect day for Indian shuttlers at CWG
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Indian shuttlers had a perfect day at the Commonwealth Games as all of them won their respective Round of 16 matches to proceed to the quarter-finals at the Emirates Arena here Thursday. To start...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Tintu fails to qualify for women's 800m final
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Indian athlete Tintu Luka failed to qualify for the women's 800 metres final at the Commonwealth Games here Thursday. The 25-year-old could only manage to finish seventh out of eight competitors...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Apple TV Release Pushed Back to 2015
The consumers will not get new Apple TV in this year, as a new report claims that the debut of the specific device has been delayed until 2015.According to Mac Rumors, the news has been published by the Information,...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
The Basic Model of the New 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Shows Significant Speed Boost
The recently released entry level 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro can work faster than its predecessors, as it shows a decent score in the GeekBench test.According to Mac Rumors, after going through the GeekBench3 test, the...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Ebola outbreak: $100 mn response plan in West Africa
Geneva, Aug 1 (IANS) The director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and presidents of West African countries hit by the Ebola virus outbreak will Friday meet in Guinea to launch a new $100 million response...
Read more on Business Balla