Diplomat accused of sexually assaulting domestic helpers has diplomatic immunity
The Indian government says Saudi official has left the country
Saudi ambassador to India has called allegations against diplomat "completely false"
A Saudi diplomat accused of sexually assaulting – and facilitating gang rapes – of two Nepali domestic helpers who worked for him near New Delhi has left India, the Indian government announced.
In a statement late Wednesday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs identified the diplomat as Majed Hassan Ashoor, the first secretary in the Saudi Embassy in New Delhi.
The statement didn’t say whether India expelled Ashoor, who enjoyed diplomatic immunity that protects embassy employees from police detention and questioning in host countries.
However, it cited his protected status under global diplomatic protocols.
“The first secretary, being a diplomat, is governed by the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Saud Mohammed Alsati, the Saudi ambassador to India, has told local media that the accusations were “completely false” but declined further comment.
Last week, authorities brought a number of cases, including rape and illegal confinement, against the diplomat.
The cases were filed after the two Nepali women told police in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, that he had imprisoned them in his apartment. He was accused of raping the women and then allowing friends – often several at once – to rape them.
In India, defendants are taken into custody immediately on the basis of a police complaint, but Ashoor’s diplomatic immunity protected him from the country’s criminal jurisdiction.