India protests German comment on arrest of opposition leader


NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India summoned a German envoy on Saturday in protest at his government’s comments about the arrest of an Indian opposition leader.

India’s external affairs ministry said New Delhi summoned the German Embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Georg Enzweiler, “and conveyed India’s strong protest.”

The embassy had no comment about the protest.

National opposition leader and Delhi Capital Territory Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by India’s financial crime-fighting agency on Thursday, a month before national elections, on corruption charges that his party rejects.

Asked about the arrest at a government news conference on Friday, German Foreign Office spokesman Sebastian Fischer said Berlin had taken note.

“We believe and expect that standards related to the independence of the judiciary and basic democratic principles will be applied in this case,” Fischer said. He said that, like any other person facing charges, Kejriwal deserves a fair and impartial trial.

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“We view such comments as interference in our judicial process and undermining the independence of our judiciary,” the Indian ministry said in a statement. “The biased assumptions made in this regard are extremely unfair.”

It said the law will take its course in this case, as it does in all legal matters in the country and elsewhere in the democratic world.

New Delhi and Berlin enjoy good relations and the two countries are coming closer on strategic issues including defense technology.

(Reporting by Krishna Kaushik in New Delhi and Emma-Victoria Farr in Frankfurt; Editing by William Mallard)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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