Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: India may expel Saudi Arabian diplomat as last resort

Ashoor, in his 50s, is the deputy head of the visa section in the Saudi Embassy, and is believed to have shifted to the embassy premises or with colleagues after police “rescued” the two women from his apartment in Gurgaon. “MEA Chief of Protocol called in Saudi Ambassador and conveyed request of Haryana Police for cooperation of Embassy in the case of two Nepali citizens”, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup had said. The Gurgaon police has informed the MEA that it is essential to interrogate the Saudi diplomat allegedly involved in the rape case to find out the identities of other accused. Police, acting on a tip from a human rights NGO, searched the luxury apartment of the senior diplomat in the satellite town of Gurgaon, New Delhi, earlier this week and recovered the two women who they claim were being held there. The options before Saudi Arabia are to either withdraw the diplomat or waive his diplomatic immunity to enable prosecution proceedings. The diplomat, who has been identified as Majid Ashoor, may also be declared “persona non-grata”. The embassy has also protested against the police barging into the diplomat’s house “against all diplomatic convention”.



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