Did NZ offer diplomatic immunity? | The Jackal

1 Jul 2014

Did NZ offer diplomatic immunity?

There's been a major development in the so-called sex attack case whereby a foreign diplomat was allowed to leave New Zealand without prosecution. The accused man, Muhammad Ismail, is a military official from Malaysia.

However that's not the main issue any longer, with the Malaysian Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, claiming that it wasn't them who invoked diplomatic immunity, it was New Zealand.

Today, the Mail Online reported:

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has confirmed that a military official at the country's diplomatic mission in New Zealand has been charged with sexual assault and that he returned home last month using diplomatic immunity.


He says Malaysia was willing to waive diplomatic immunity but decided to take up New Zealand's offer to invoke diplomatic immunity and bring him back home.

However just yesterday, Stuff was reporting:

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand formally asked that a diplomat facing sexual assault charges waive diplomatic immunity, but was rebuffed.

The diplomat has fled the country after allegedly committing a sexual assault.

If he returned to New Zealand at any time he could face prosecution for the alleged offences.

"We expect this diplomat to face consequences for his actions," Key told his regular post-Cabinet media conference this afternoon, but added that as a signatory to the Vienna Convention New Zealand had no option but to allow the man to go free.

Clearly the reports contradict each other. They show that either the Prime Minister of New Zealand is lying or the Malaysian Foreign Minister is lying?

If it turns out that a New Zealand government official offered diplomatic immunity to somebody who is accused of burglary and sexual assault, which are both serious crimes, then that official should resign. The same goes for any National MP who might have allowed this travesty to occur.

At the very least Key needs to explain the inconsistency between his and Mr Anifah Aman's accounts. Because at the moment this has all the trademarks of yet another cover-up by the National led government.