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Malaysian diplomat to be sent back to NZ to assist police investigations
Publication Date : 03-07-2014
The Malaysian accused of sexual assault in New Zealand will return to Wellington to face charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape.
The foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Second Warrant Officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, a former defence staff assistant at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, would be sent back to assist investigations in the case.
The decision was conveyed by foreign affairs minister Anifah Aman to his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully on Wednesday afternoon.
"The Malaysian government is of the view that this decision will provide an opportunity for Rizalman to cooperate and fully assist the New Zealand authorities in the on-going investigations on the allegations made against him.
"Malaysia has complete faith in the New Zealand legal system and has full confidence that Rizalman will be given fair treatment under its law," the statement read, adding that legal assistance would be provided by the Malaysian government to the accused if necessary.
Rizalman was accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman at her home in Wellington on May 9 this year.
He reportedly followed her back to her home in Brooklyn which he broke into, where he was alleged to have assaulted her with the intent to commit rape.
He appeared in a New Zealand court on May 10 to face charges of burglary and assault, but had since returned to Malaysia as he claimed to have diplomatic immunity.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was reported as saying that his "preference" was for the accused to be tried under its laws.