Malaysia will extradite suspect if necessary

2014-07-01 16:37
Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. New Zealand officials identified a diplomat charged with sexual assault as Malaysian. (Vincent Thian, AP)

Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia. New Zealand officials identified a diplomat charged with sexual assault as Malaysian. (Vincent Thian, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia said on Tuesday a junior military official at its diplomatic mission in New Zealand returned home in disgrace using diplomatic immunity last month after being charged with sexual assault.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters that a defence ministry panel will investigate Second Warrant Office Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, aged 38, and "stern action will be taken" if he is found guilty. It was not immediately clear what punishment he faced under Malaysia's military rules.

"Diplomatic immunity is not a license for them to commit crime," he said.

Anifah said Muhammad Rizalman was working at the Malaysian High Commission, or embassy, in Wellington for the past one year as a defence staff assistant when he was detained on 9 May for allegedly following a 21-year-old woman home and assaulting her.

He was charged the next day with burglary and assault with the intent to rape, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. He returned home with his family on 22 May.

Anifah said the accused will be sent back to New Zealand "if it is absolutely necessary." Asked to elaborate, Anifah said "I will consider sending him back" if New Zealand thinks that the Malaysian investigation is not being conducted properly and requests for his extradition.

Diplomatic immunity

He said that initially Malaysia was willing to waive diplomatic immunity so that he could be tried in New Zealand. "But during discussions on 12 May, the New Zealand side offered an alternative for the accused to be brought back to Malaysia," he said. "It was never our intention to treat the matter lightly."

However, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key earlier indicated that his government would have preferred to keep the man in New Zealand and try him. But Malaysia "stopped us from doing that my invoking diplomatic immunity," he said.

The differing versions of the events could not be immediately reconciled, and Anifah said bilateral ties will not be hurt because Malaysia is cooperating closely with New Zealand.

He said the accused was sent for medical check-up after his return. "His physical state is satisfactory. However he is now under psychiatric evaluation to assess his mental and emotional condition," said Anifah.

The defence ministry has established a board of inquiry to investigate the case thoroughly and has given an assurance that "it will not compromise or conceal any facts on the case being fully aware that Malaysia's good name is at stake," he said.

Although this is an isolated case the government views the issue seriously. "The Malaysian government acknowledges that the incident is a serious matter and we do not have any intention to sweep the matter under the carpet."


- AP

Read more on:    john key  |  malaysia  |  new zealand
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.