Indian envoy in UK probed for wife assault

Last Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 15:42

London: Anil Verma, a senior diplomat in
the Indian High Commission here, has been questioned by
Scotland Yard on allegations that he assaulted his wife, but
has escaped persecution due to diplomatic immunity.

Verma, who is Minister (Economic) in the High
Commission, is alleged to have attacked his wife after a
heated argument last month, Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

He is closely involved with India-UK trade relations.

The police were called to the couple`s home in
Golders Green, North-West London, after neighbours heard a
woman screaming.

According to the report, police officers questioned
Verma but did not arrest him because of his diplomatic status.

The police have reportedly asked the Foreign Office
to intervene.

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."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "At 9.30 am 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."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "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."

Last year, Foreign Secretary William Hague told
Parliament that foreign diplomats had escaped prosecution in
78 serious cases in the previous five years, including alleged
sexual abuse, shoplifting and drunk-driving.

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.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 15:42

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