Malaysia told to act on diplomat sex charge

Defence ministry official, Mohammed Rizalman Bin Ismail, fled New Zealand claiming diplomatic immunity.

    Malaysia told to act on diplomat sex charge
    Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Minister said Rizalman was allowed to return home by authorities in New Zealand [AFP]

    New Zealand has pressed the Malaysian government to take action against a diplomat who claimed immunity and left the country after being charged with committing a sexual assault in May.

    Prime Minister John Key told reporters on Tuesday that he had told the Malaysian government that New Zealand expected Mohammed Rizalman Bin Ismail to answer the charges 

    Earlier, a court had ordered the suppression of the Malaysian defence ministry official's identity to be lifted, the Reuters news agency reported.

    Rizalman was attached to the Malaysian high commission in Wellington and was arrested in early May on suspicion of burglary and assault with intent to rape.

    After one brief court appearance, he returned to Malaysia. 

    Malaysian Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, told reporters that Malaysia had offered to waive Rizalman's diplomatic immunity to enable his prosecution in New Zealand, but that New Zealand had "offered an alternative" for him to return to his own country.

    "With the agreement of the NZ side, the accused person and his family returned to Malaysia on May 22," Anifah said in a statement.

    Malaysia's defence ministry had established a board of inquiry to investigate the case and would not hesitate to take "stern action" against the accused if he was found guilty, the statement said.

    Key said Rizalman could be assured of a fair trial if he was sent back to face the charges, which carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years in jail.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.