HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

No immunity for French official, govt okays arrest

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Bangalore/New Delhi, June 18, 2012
First Published: 20:34 IST(18/6/2012) | Last Updated: 23:53 IST(18/6/2012)

The union home ministry on Monday asked the Karnataka Police to approach the French consul general in Bangalore to get access to Pascal Mazurier, an official of its diplomatic mission accused of raping his 4-year-old daughter.


The Centre’s move coincided with France refusing to interfere in the case and paved the way for Mazurier’s arrest. France said Indian law would take its course, as the accused did not hold a diplomatic passport and enjoyed no immunity.

“The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) does not provide for immunity of jurisdiction for acts committed outside the exercise of consular duties (Article 43),” said the French foreign ministry.

Article 43 stipulates that officials are immune from jurisdiction of judicial and administrative authorities for acts performed in the exercise of consular functions.

According to an official source, Mazurier, 39, a consular agent, has not come out of the consulate complex following registration of a case by the police on June 14 on a complaint filed by his wife Suja Jones, an Indian.

Jones, 37, who has requested that her husband be restrained from leaving the country till legal proceedings are completed, said, “I cannot comment because it can jeopardise investigations.”

Jones, who hails from Kerala, married Mazurier more than a decade ago in France. The couple also has two sons.

Jones, who has also accused Mazurier of domestic violence, has requested that under no circumstances should he be allowed custody of their three children, who are French citizens.

Awaiting the Centre’s go-ahead, police had so far not been able to enter the French property to reach Mazurier, who moved to Bangalore from France in 2008 following his posting.

Police briefly detained and released around 30 social activists who protested outside the consulate demanding Mazurier’s arrest.   

Meanwhile, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Neena P Naik said she had written to the French Embassy to provide financial security for Jones and her children.

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