Indian in UK claims diplomatic immunity to escape prosecution for 'attack' on wife

Posted By: Manoj Kumar Ramesh
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London, Jan 9 (ANI): A high-ranking Indian diplomat in the UK has claimed immunity from prosecution after being quizzed by police over allegations that he attacked his wife at their official residence.

Anil Verma-India's trade ambassador to the UK-allegedly assualted his wife after a heated argument.

Police were called to the couple's home in Golders Green, North-West London, last month after neighbours heard a woman screaming.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said, "At 9.30am on December 11, following reports of an assault at an address at Corringham Road, NW11, a man in his 40s was spoken to by officers. No arrests were made."

Verma, who couldn't be arrested because of his diplomatic status, was questioned by the police and has asked the Foreign Office to intervene.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, foreign officials, their spouses, children and staff are protected from prosecution in their host country. As a result, embassy staff accused of serious offences can be charged only if their government agrees to waive their diplomatic immunity.

A Whitehall source said the Government had asked the Indian authorities to waive Verma's diplomatic immunity but there had been no response from the Indian High Commission in London.

"We do not tolerate diplomats working in the UK breaking the law. When we are made aware of an offence committed by a diplomat or their family, we will take appropriate action," the Daily Mail quoted a Foreign Office spokesman, as saying.

Meanwhile, an Indian High Commission spokesman said, "This matter has been brought to our attention. It is now expected that this matter will be resolved between husband and wife to their mutual satisfaction." (ANI)

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