Millennium Post

French father to face Indian law

A day after French consulate official Pascal Mazurier was arrested for allegedly abusing his minor daughter, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna stressed Wednesday that he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity and made it clear that the Indian law will prevail.

‘From what I understand he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity as he does not hold a diplomatic passport,’ Krishna told reporters here.

Amid speculation about a separate probe by the French authorities into the incident, Krishna said: ‘The question of carrying out a parallel investigation does not arise. The law of the land shall prevail,’ he asserted.

The Bangalore police Tuesday arrested Mazurier, who has been accused by Suja Jones, his Indian wife, of sexually abusing their four-year-old daughter.

The French embassy has confirmed that the 39-year-old Mazurier, deputy head of chancery in the French consulate at Bangalore, does not enjoy any diplomatic immunity and it is up to police to take action against him.

The French foreign ministry has said in a statement that since a probe was under way, ‘we cannot comment at this stage’ on the allegation against Mazurier.

‘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],’ it said.

The French consulate has also assured the police of its cooperation in the case and assisting the family of the child.

‘An investigation is under way for which this consulate general is extending cooperation to the police and authorities in charge. We remain also in touch with the family of the child,’ the statement said.

The rape charge came to light when the official’s wife, who hails from Kerala, approached Enfold India, an NGO-based pro-active health trust in the city, for counselling as she was going through a trauma of being a witness to her husband abusing their child over the past few weeks.

As part of the investigation, police sent the minor to a state-run hospital for an examination to substantiate the charge against Mazurier.
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