An Indian diplomat accused by investigators of lying about how much she paid a housekeeper has now been indicted on criminal charges.
Thirty-nine-year-old Devyani Khobragade was indicted on charges of visa fraud and making false statements Thursday — those charges stemming from prosecutors' accusations she paid an Indian maid less than minimum wage.
"This woman is alleged to have told the State Department that she would pay her housekeeper a certain amount for a limited number of hours of work a week. Instead she paid the housekeeper what amounts to about $3 an hour." (Via Fox News)
Although it seems those reports were premature.
NBC cites Khobragade's lawyer as saying the diplomat has not left the country and is, in fact, "at home with her children."
If she wasn't gone already, though, it looks like she will be soon. USA Today reports the State Department has asked Khobragade to leave the county — and she reportedly will as early as Thursday night.
CNN quotes a letter from federal prosecutors in the case. It says, "The charges will remain pending until such time as she can be brought to court to face charges, either through a waiver of immunity or the defendant's return to the United States in a non-immune status."
Khobragade's arrest and a reported subsequent strip-search in December caused public protest in India as well as diplomatic tensions between the two countries — tensions that led to India ordering the shutdown of commercial activities at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the cancellation of a trip to India by the U.S. energy secretary. (Via The Washington Post, Bloomberg)
So far U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he "regrets" the handling of Khobragade's arrest but has not apologized. (Via Al Jazeera)