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Selasa, Julai 01, 2014

Wisma Putra confirms NZ sex assault suspect a Malaysian Diplomat

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KUALA LUMPUR - The diplomat who is allegedly involved in a sexual assault case in New Zealand is a Malaysian, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman confirmed, adding that the envoy has been recalled home.

The minister refuted claims Wisma Putra is “protecting” the man from sex charges, saying he has asked the police in New Zealand to continue their investigations, The Star daily reported today.

“Just because he is a diplomat does not mean he gets off scot-free.

“Diplomatic immunity is not about having the licence to commit the crime,” Anifah was quoted saying.

When asked why the diplomat was asked to return to Malaysia, Anifah pointed to a possible misinterpretation of an email from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Wisma Putra.

But he said Malaysia would only send the diplomat back to New Zealand if there is assurance of his safety and a fair trial.

Anifah is scheduled to give a press conference this afternoon on this matter.

According to New Zealand police, the diplomat said to be in his 30s was arrested after he allegedly followed a woman aged 21 to her house on May 9 and attacked her.

He was then charged with assault with intent to rape and burglary, but the case had to be dropped after he was recalled home a day after he was charged, news wire AFP reported.

New Zealand had asked for the diplomatic immunity of the man to be waived so that he could face trial there, but the request was refused by Malaysia.

Prime Minister John Key said it was New Zealand’s “strong preference” for the man to face trial there, but said this was not possible after his home country invoked diplomatic immunity
“Though I would make the point that it’s our expectation he will be held to account in his home country,” he was quoted saying by the Australian Associated Press yesterday, reports The Malay Mail.

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