US to proceed with Devyani prosecution, does not want to affect ties with India
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The United States is proceeding with the prosecution of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and has no intention to withdraw the case of visa fraud against her.
"We don't want this to negatively impact our relationship, that we work on a broad range of issues together, our bilateral relationship is too important. And we've said repeatedly that we don't want it," the State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters at her daily news conference.
Harf was responding to questions about the impact on India-US relationship the arrest of an Indian diplomat has had.
Harf's remarks came at a time when US sources said that more evidence was being gathered against the 39-year-old diplomat before the indictment is filed. The deadline for indictment is January 13.
There is no question of apology to India over the arrest of Khobragade, the then Deputy Consul General of India, in New York on December 12 which has led to strong protests by the Indian government and widepread indignation in India.
The Indian government has demanded withdrawal of the case and an apology for the treatmet meted out to the diplomat.
Khobragade, 39, was arrested on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard. She was released on a USD 250,000 bond.
Subsequent revelations that she was strip searched and held in jail with drug addicts and criminals triggered a row between the two sides.
"We had some good conversations with our Indian counterparts. And that's why what we're doing right now is letting that process play itself out and focusing from our end on moving the relationship forward, on the ground and here as well," Harf said.