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Sudanese accused of sexual abuse in New York is not a diplomat, Khartoum says


January 10, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The foreign ministry in Khartoum said the Sudanese national who had been charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching by the police in New York is not a member of the diplomatic staff of its mission to the United Nations.

The Sudanese foreign ministry was reacting to press reports that New York Police arrested a Sudanese diplomat and charged him with sexually rubbing up against a woman in the Subway on Monday.

However, the charge were dropped and he was freed because of his diplomatic immunity on Tuesday, the police said.

"The accused is a member of support staff of the Permanent Mission and not a diplomatic staff member. He was surprised by the complaint filed against him and has no knowledge of the complainant," said a statement issued by the Sudanese foreign ministry late on Tuesday night.

Investigation by the Permanent Mission showed that no criminal case has been initiated against the accused, the statement further said.

New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson Arlene Muniz told Reuters they had informed the State Department of the complaint filed by the woman and it may complain to the Sudanese government.

Also, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated they are in touch with the NYPD and the mayor’s office so that "we are able to take appropriate steps, as needed, to address this matter".

The Sudanese foreign ministry said they are in contact with the relevant authorities through the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

The NYPD told Reuters that the Sudanese national who is identified as Mohammad Abdalla Ali, 49, was riding a train out of the city’s Grand Central Terminal on Monday afternoon when he approached a 38-year-old woman from behind and rubbed his crotch against her.

(ST)