Columbo (1971–2003)
27 user 5 critic

A Case of Immunity 

The first secretary to the Suarian king may have immunity from the consequences of committing murder, but Lt. Columbo is wilier than any foreign diplomat.


Ted Post


Lou Shaw (teleplay by), James Menzies (story by) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Hector Elizondo ... Hassan Salah
Sal Mineo ... Rachman Habib
Kenneth Tobey ... Police Commissioner
Brioni Farrell ... Xenia (as Xenia Gratsos)
Barry Robins Barry Robins ... King Hamid Kamal of Suari
Dick Dinman ... Kermit Morgan
George Skaff George Skaff ... Haj Kura
Nate Esformes ... Hakim
André Lawrence ... Youseff Alafa (as Andre Lawrence)
Bill Zuckert ... Capt. August
Bart Braverman ... 2nd Picketer
Harvey Gold ... Coroner
Jay Varela ... Capt. Ortega


Columbo has to solve a crime at the embassy of a middle-east nation. The culture there is different, and the main suspects have diplomatic immunity. Also, to complicate matters, there is a student demonstration outside the gates, and the king is visiting the embassy. However, Columbo decides to investigate the matter in his own persistent way. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Jeff Goldblum is an extra in the crowd demonstrating in the scene outside of the legation. See more »


When Hassan Salah leaves the embassy to go meet Habib at the cliff, he bends down and uses the key to unlock his car door. He opens the door and the window glass is clearly lowered. He could have just reached through the open window and unlocked the door. More likely, the door wasn't locked to begin with. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Mr. Salah, I have made a discovery that you are going to find emotionally disturbing. I want you to be prepared for that.
See more »

User Reviews

Though novel touches often ruin episodes, this is a surprisingly strong "Columbo"
3 February 2007 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

Hassan Salah (Hector Elizondo), first secretary to the King of Suaria, has a scheme for shifting power within his government. He tricks a naïve idealist (Sal Mineo), who is working in his legation, into helping him murder a beloved security officer (André Lawrence), rob the safe and make it look like the work of radicals. Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) of the LAPD finds himself with a suspect who may have immunity from the consequences of his crime. But never underestimate our rumpled, redoubtable detective.

Considering how often novelties fail in this series, when the plots must stick to a strict formula to succeed, this is a surprisingly strong episode. Setting Columbo into the world of foreign diplomacy proves to be a good idea. The two murder schemes (yes, there's a second one) are interesting. Elizondo makes a good villain. And instead of stopping the story cold to insert some extraneous comic business, as far too many "Columbo" movies do, the comedy is well integrated into the plot.

Still, this won't completely satisfy fans. The made-up kingdom of Suaria requires a higher than usual suspension of disbelief; and the ending is both predictable and false. I don't believe Columbo's psychological trick would have worked so quickly and so well. The best thing in the episode is seeing Columbo repeatedly step on the Arab diplomat's robe—both figuratively and literally.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

12 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Immunité diplomatique See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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