UK & World News
Anger Over New Strip-Search Diplomat Charges
India has expressed anger over the US Justice Department's decision to re-indict one of its diplomats on visa fraud charges and allegations she lied about how much she paid her housekeeper.
Government spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said India was "disappointed" the US had obtained a second indictment against former New York deputy consul-general, Devyani Khobragade.
Mr Akbaruddin said: "Any measures consequent to this decision in the US will unfortunately impact upon efforts on both sides to build the India-US strategic partnership, to which both sides are committed."
The new charges threaten to re-ignite a bitter row between the US and India, triggered by her arrest in New York last December.
Indian authorities were angered by reports Dr Khobragade was handcuffed and strip-searched by US police.
India demanded an apology, saying it was "shocked and appalled" by her treatment.
It responded with a number of diplomatic reprisals, including the expulsion of a US diplomat.
Dr Khobragade's case was thrown out by a US judge just two days ago, on the grounds she had full diplomatic immunity.
But prosecutors, who dispute her immunity, levelled identical charges against her on Friday.
They accuse her of providing false information to obtain a visa for her housekeeper and coaching her to lie to US embassy officials.
The indictment says she forced her maid to sign one contract which complied with US minimum wage law, and another which stipulated she should be paid an annual wage of just $6,876, (£4,130).
It also accuses Dr Khobragade of forcing her housekeeper to work at least 100 hours a week, often when sick and without time off.
Dr Khobragade, who has now returned to India, maintains her innocence.