New York: India-born US prosecutor Preet Bharara has told a judge in New York that his office is opposed to the one-month extension of the deadline for charging Devyani Khobragade in a visa fraud case as sought by her, saying plea discussions can continue even after she is charged.
Khobragade's lawyer Daniel Arshack has submitted a request with Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking postponement of the preliminary hearing date, currently scheduled for January 13 and extension of the indictment deadline by 30 days "to and including February 12, 2014".
Responding to Arshack's request, Bharara wrote to the judge that the government is not seeking an extension of the deadline for indictment.
He said the one-month adjournment of the January 13 preliminary hearing date has been sought in order to facilitate the plea discussions that have been ongoing between his office and Khobragade.
"This office remains receptive to continuing the plea discussions that have taken place over the past several weeks.
We have participated in hours of discussion in the hope of negotiating a plea that could be entered in Court before January 13," Bharara said.
"Indeed, as recently as Saturday, January 5, the Government outlined reasonable parameters for a plea that could resolve the case, to which the defendant has not responded," he said.