DA Asks for Waiver of Immunity So That It Can Pursue Charges Against Sudanese Diplomat - NBC New York

DA Asks for Waiver of Immunity So That It Can Pursue Charges Against Sudanese Diplomat

Charges were dropped due to diplomatic immunity

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Diplomat Accused of Rubbing Against Woman in Subway Walks

    A Sudanese diplomat accused of rubbing against a woman on a Manhattan subway this week had his arrest voided because he has diplomatic immunity, according to police. Erica Byfield reports (Published Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017)

    Prosecutors are asking the mayor's office to petition the State Department for a waiver of immunity for the Sudanese diplomat accused of rubbing against a woman on the subway Monday. 

    Mohammed Aballa Ali Mohammed, 49, was caught rubbing up against a 38-year-old woman on a No. 4 train out of Grand Central at around 10 a.m. Monday, according to authorities. But when officers took him into custody and brought him to the Transit District police station for processing, he presented papers affirming his diplomatic status and was released.

    Now prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office are asking the mayor's office to petition for waiver of immunity so that they can pursue charges against him.

    In a letter to the Mayor's Office for International Affairs, Nitin Savur writes that "there is reasonable cause to charge Mohammed and sufficient evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt" for forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse, both misdemeanors.

    Savur continued: "I hereby formally request on behalf of the New York County District Attorney's Office that the Office of the Mayor petition the State Department to seek a waiver of immunity to allow prosecution herein."

    According to the DA's office, two police officers spotted Mohammed on the subway platform staring at women's buttocks, and then follow one of them onto the no. 4 train. 

    While on the train, the officers saw him repeatedly rub himself against the back of the woman, who turned around each time to glare at him, according to prosecutors. She was boxed in and couldn't move away from him, while he allegedly had enough room behind him that he didn't need to be pressed up against her. 

    After he was arrested and taken to the Transit District 4 stationhouse, he presented ID cards from the Department of State and United Nation. After police verified that he was the diplomat to Sudan and that he had diplomatic immunity, the arrest was voided and Mohammed was released, prosecutors said. 

    The Vienna Convention, an international treaty, protects diplomats from charges while overseas, according to New York attorney Daniel Arshack .

    "One of the elements of the convention is that diplomats of a certain level will not be charged with crimes while they are clocked with their diplomatic status in a foreign country," he said.

    The Sudanese Mission to the United Nations has not responded to calls or email requests for comment.

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