Devyani seeks dismissal of charges, return to US

CNN, New York :
The Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip search in New York City ignited a diplomatic spat between nations has filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the charges, her attorney said Wednesday.
The diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, left the US last week amid federal charges that she lied on a visa application for her housekeeper. A dismissal of the charges against her would allow her to reenter the United States, where her husband and two daughters reside, said her attorney, Daniel Arshack. A hearing is set for January 31.
A motion filed in federal court Tuesday asked that the case be thrown out, saying the court “does not have jurisdiction over the Defendant due to the Defendant’s diplomatic status which provides her absolute immunity from criminal prosecution in the United States.
“Because Dr. Khobragade was cloaked in diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest on December 12, 2013, as well as the time of the filing of the subsequent indictment on
January 9, 2014 (on which she was not re-arrested or arraigned), she cannot be prosecuted thus necessitating a dismissal of the indictment and proceeding,” the motion said.
US prosecutors accused Khobragade of lying in a visa application about how much she paid her housekeeper. She was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on one count of visa fraud and one count of making false statements.
The Indian government denied a request by the State Department to waive Khobragade’s diplomatic immunity so she can answer the charges, US and Indian officials said. The immunity was granted after her controversial arrest.
Khobragade arrived at the New Delhi airport Friday, according to an Indian official who was not authorized to speak to the media.