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New Zealand wants M'sian diplomat accused of sexual assault to be tried in NZ

UPDATE:

Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman did not rule out sending back the diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in New Zealand if Wellington was unhappy with how Malaysia was handling the investigations.

Speaking at a press conference at Wisma Putra in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Jul 1), he revealed that the diplomat - Mohammad Rizalman​ - is currently undergoing psychological evaluation by the military.

New Zealand had earlier said that officials in Kuala Lumpur refused a request to waive his diplomatic immunity. 

But Anifah said his country had been prepared to waive immunity but New Zealand had offered to allow the accused to return to Malaysia.

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10:45am: New Zealand wants a Malaysian diplomat who is accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman at her home in Wellington, New Zealand, to be brought back to New Zealand so that he can face the charges there.

According to Malaysian news outlet The Star Online, the accused, who is in his 30s, was alleged to have followed the woman back to her home in Brooklyn New Zealand on May 9 and it was there he was said to have assaulted her with intent to rape.

The New Zealand Herald has identified the accused as Mohammed Rizalman Ismail who worked at the Malaysian High Commision.

A court order was initially issued on May 30 to suppressed the identity of Mohammad Rizalman from being reported in the New Zealand media. 

Media outlets in New Zealand, however, challenged the court order.

Uproar

In a statement to the media, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said that he saw no reason why they should protect the identity of someone from publicity "given there won't be a trial".

Earlier, Malaysian foreign minister Anifah Aman confirmed with The Star Online that the accused is a Malaysian diplomat and that he has been recalled to Malaysia.

He has, however, denied reports that they are "protecting" the diplomat.

The minister asserted that the accused would only be returned to New Zealand once he is assured of a fair trial.

The case has caused public uproar in New Zealand, with the country's prime minister John Key saying in a statement to the media that it was the "strong preference" of his government that the diplomat be returned to New Zealand so that he can be tried in a New Zealand court of law.

Source: The Star Online, The New Zealand Herald.

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