What about the victim? Prosecutor cites plight of maid, family in Indian diplomat case

12/19/13
 
   < < Go Back
 
from FoxNews,
12/19/13:

While international outrage mounts over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York, the purported victim in the case — an allegedly underpaid housekeeper — has been largely overlooked.

The federal prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, is now trying to draw attention to her apparent plight as he battles critics of the U.S. government’s actions and those calling for the diplomat’s release. He also confirmed that the housekeeper’s family had to be brought to the U.S. amid harassment in India.

The consular official, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested and strip-searched last week. Khobragade, 39, was accused of paying her housekeeper in rupees amounting to just $3.31 per hour, then forcing her to sign a fraudulent contract submitted with her visa application.

Indian officials complained the treatment of the diplomat was heavy-handed, touching off a diplomatic clash which has escalated over the past several days.

But Bharara, in a detailed statement defending his actions, sought to remind the public about the housekeeper — and lamented there was “precious little outrage” about her and her spouse. He suggested the Indian government’s attitude toward the case might be colored by views of class and status, which remain powerful forces in India.

“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.

More From FoxNews: