Alleged attempted rapist Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail and his alleged victim Tania Billingsley will be thrilled to know that by the time it comes to taking responsibility for the diplomatic stuff up that allowed Rizalman to return to Malaysia, all those that are capable of being held responsible have already fled, been moved on or “promoted” out of harm’s way.
A damning report into the bungling of a diplomatic incident involving a Malaysian accused of attempted rape is set to be withheld until at least early next year.
Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade came under heavy fire earlier this year when they apparently left Malaysian counterparts with the impression that New Zealand was comfortable with a defence attache facing an attempted rape charge refusing to waive diplomatic immunity and facing justice at home.
In July, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced former Treasury secretary John Whitehead would head an inquiry into events which “undermined public confidence” in Mfat.
In May, Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, who worked at the Malaysian High Commission in Brooklyn in Wellington, was allowed to leave New Zealand despite being arrested and charged with the attempted rape of a Wellington woman in her home.
New Zealand requested the Malaysians waive diplomatic immunity, but this was rejected after a series of meetings between Malaysian diplomats and Mfat’s protocol division.
A complete “draft” report is being held up until next year as it is feared it may affect the active legal action against Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail. The extra time this allows is being used constructively by those in the line of fire by getting well out of the way. Read more »