WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- An Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip-search in New York sparked a diplomatic row between the United States and India is expected to leave the country on Thursday, U.S. media reported.
Devyani Khobragade, 39, was asked to leave the United States after being indicted by prosecutors on Wednesday for alleged visa fraud and making false statements, CNN reported.
One of Khobragade's attorneys told CNN late Thursday afternoon that she was still in the country, but declined to say whether she planned to leave later.
The United States accepted India's request to accredit the diplomat at UN, which gives her broader immunity than what she enjoyed as deputy consul general in New York.
She was then asked to leave the United States after India denied a request by the U.S. State Department to waive Khobragade's diplomatic immunity so she could answer the charges, CNN reported, citing senior U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Khobragade's lawyers have repeatedly said she was not guilty and was entitled to such immunity.
Tensions have escalated between India and the United States over the treatment of Khobragade, who was handcuffed and strip-searched by federal agents on Dec. 12 last year following a complaint filed by her housekeeper.
India has expressed outrage over the arrest of Khobragade, and New Delhi demanded Washington apologize and drop charges accusing her of lying on a visa application for her former housekeeper.
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed "regret" about the situation last month, saying he "empathizes with the sensitivities we are hearing from India about the event."
According to federal prosecutors, in a visa application, Khobragade had promised her housekeeper, who moved from India to the United States, that she can earn at least 9.75 U.S. dollars per hour, the minimum wage in New York, and work no more than 40 hours per week.
However, they said Khobragade then had the housekeeper sign a second contract, which paid her less than 3.31 dollars an hour and required that she work much longer hours.
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