Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A fine mess in New Zealand

The Wall St. Journal has this account of a controversy roiling relations between New Zealand and Malaysia. It seems a warrant officer attached to the Malaysian High Commission has been charged with sexual assault by New Zealand authorities. He was permitted to return to Malaysia on a claim of diplomatic immunity and now Malaysian authorities are conducting a board of inquiry at which, they say, evidence obtained by New Zealand police could be introduced. The WSJ lede reports: "New Zealand said Wednesday it would let Malaysia take the lead in prosecuting a Malaysian employee in the embassy here who left New Zealand after being charged with sexual assault." Watch for debate on this sequence of events in the New Zealand Parliament and media.

Stop the presses: The New Zealand Herald has just reported a major shift: the suspect, who is currently undergoing psychiatric observation, is to be returned to New Zealand for prosecution:
In a dramatic twist to the case, Malaysia said it had decided to send back Muhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail to New Zealand, where there is an active warrant for his arrest.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman confirmed the news to New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully this evening.
A statement released by the Malaysian Government said: "It is of the view that this decision will provide an opportunity for Mr Muhammad Rizalman to cooperate fully and assist the New Zealand authorities in the on-going investigations on the allegations made against him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).