Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The 'soldier' should be sent back to New Zealand to face charge of sexual assault in NZ Court

Up dated 2nd July 2014, Latest in the diplomatic saga, from The Malay Mail Online:

Published: 2 July 2014

The fallout from the diplomatic immunity case involving a Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault is being felt in the New Zealand administration with the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) today apologising to its government for the way it handled the matter.

TVNZ reported today that MFAT CEO John Allen had met with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully (pic) this morning to acknowledge shortcomings in the advice provided to the government.

It said McCully would not rule out the possibility that Allen had offered his resignation over the matter, nor would he rule out offering his own resignation.

However, McCully expressed confidence in Allen, said TVNZ.

McCully reportedly said he and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key were let down by officials over the case as they were not told about informal discussions between ministry officials and their Malaysian counterparts over the issue of diplomatic immunity.

Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 38, has returned to Malaysia using diplomatic immunity.

Earlier this week, Key had insisted that Malaysia had rejected New Zealand's request to waive diplomatic immunity for Rizalman so that he could stand trial in New Zealand.

However, yesterday the Malaysian government contradicted that, insisting that it had offered to waive immunity and was happy for Rizalman to face trial in New Zealand.

Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s had said yesterday that Malaysia had been willing to waive Rizalman’s immunity.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia was prepared to waive diplomatic immunity of the accused to enable prosecution under New Zealand law against him to proceed.

“During the discussion on 12 May, the New Zealand side had offered an alternative for the accused to be brought back to Malaysia,” Anifah had told a press conference in Wisma Putra, Putrajaya.

TVNZ said official papers showed that New Zealand did formally ask for the waiver to be granted.

However, it has since emerged that MFAT officials had informal talks with their counterparts in Malaysia that McCully said were ambiguous.

He said the talks would have led the Malaysian government to think New Zealand was happy for Rizalman to return to Malaysia and be held accountable there.

McCully also said that it was unseemly that he and his counterpart were at odds with each other and insisted the Malaysian government was acting in good faith, the TVNZ report said.

He also said that the situation was embarrassing and fell short of the standards expected.

McCully says it was now up to the police to decide if they wanted to try to extradite Rizalman.

Rizalman, a second warrant officer from the Ministry of Defence attached to the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington the past year, was arrested on May 9 for attempted burglary and sexual assault on a woman.

He had followed the 21-year-old to her Brooklyn home on May 9 when the alleged assault occurred. – July 2, 2014.

Original Post:

The headline says it all:

And sometimes our Gomen does funny things:

No, the soldier should not be charged in a Army Court Martial, he is being charged for a criminal offence in New Zealand. Guilty or Not, let the New Zealand Court decide, we can't have a Court Martial in Malaysia decide whether he is guilty of committing a crime in New Zealand!

It sends the wrong message to New Zealand and the world. Its bad news for Malaysia especially so we have still not recovered fro the MH370 dissapearance.

All Malaysian diplomats must adhere to high integrity and moral standards, tell them that Diplomatic Immunity cannot be a defense for crimes in countries where they are posted. Period.

Minister Anifah Aman should do the right thing, strip the guy of his diplomatic status and hand him over to Interpol to be escorted back to New Zealand to face trial.

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