8 March 2016
During his sentencing, Rizalman’s lawyer Dr Donald Stevens argued that the offence didn’t require a sanction “as severe as home detention”.
7 March 2016 | MYT 3:37 PM
Rizalman appeals against home detention sentence
TALING JAYA: Former second warrant officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail who was found guilty of indecent assault of a New Zealand woman, is appealing against his sentence.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald (NZ Herald), the New Zealand Court of Appeal confirmed on Monday that an appeal against the sentence had been filed, although a hearing date has not yet been set.
On Feb 4, the Wellington High Court sentenced Rizalman to nine months’ home detention for indecently assaulting then 21-year-old Tania Billingsley at her home on May 9, 2014.
Rizalman had earlier admitted to following Billingsley home.
He also admitted to indecent assault last November, after denying initial charges of attempted rape and burglary.
During his sentencing, Rizalman’s lawyer Dr Donald Stevens argued that the offence didn’t require a sanction “as severe as home detention”.
The Crown accepted that Rizalman was eligible for home detention.
It was reported that the home detention sentence could not be served at the Malaysian High Commission, but would be at a property rented by the Malaysian Government. Its address is suppressed.
4 January 2016
Judge says Rizalman lacked “genuine remorse” for indecent assault http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/76529955/malaysian-military-man-muhammad-rizalman-bin-ismail-sentenced-to-nine-months-home-detention …
Ex-defence attache gets 9 months’ detention for NZ sex assault
“You terrorised Billingsley… She was a young woman, alone in her room, who was entitled to feel safe and secure in her bedroom,” Judge David Collins told Rizalman during sentencing.
“No woman should have to endure the terrifying circumstances experienced by Billingsley when you breached the sanctity of her bedroom.”
Collins said Rizalman’s actions were “premeditated”, however, Billingsley was not touched in a sexual way and Rizalman had hoped she would agree to sex.
“You mistook a smile for a sexual advance, you deliberately followed her and waited outside her home for a long period of time,” the judge said.
15 December 2015
Rizalman had a ‘sexual motive’, says judge
A disgraced Malaysian military man had a sexual motive for going into the home of a Wellington woman without his trousers and underwear.
A High Court judge has released his findings after Muhammad Rizalman Ismail’s defence asked him on Friday to find Rizalman had no sexual intent when he went into Tania Billingsley’s home in 2014.
Justice David Collins has found that along with a sexual motive, Rizalman was in an abnormal state of mind which might have diminished his understanding. However, that was not mitigating as he had likely consumed drugs.
The judge also urged a home detention suitability report and asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to find out from the Malaysian High Commission if it would cooperate with a sentence of home detention.
In his decision the judge said changes in Rizalman’s behaviour had been noticed by his wife and colleagues and he had seen doctors about it.
The judge also noted that while in Malaysia in hospital Rizalman admitted using cannabis before, although he denied using it in New Zealand.
The judge said Rizalman had shown a sexual interest in other women in the days before following Billingsley home and it was a pattern of behaviour.
“Mr Rizalman’s explanation that he followed Ms Billingsley home because he wanted to befriend her and discuss his problems with her is implausible,” the judge said.
He called Rizalman’s explanation for his behaviour “totally unconvincing”.
He said Rizalman’s two conflicting accounts of what he was doing were a “fictitious and flimsy attempt to try and deflect attention from his real motive”.
The judge called Rizalman’s behaviour bizarre.
Rizalman’s defence are now expected to ask the judge for a discharge without conviction at a hearing in February.
11 December 2015
No, he wasn’t looking for sex but for the bathroom to clean his bottom!
#Rizalman had ‘no sexual intent’, #NewZealand court told http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/116780/rizalman-had-no-sexual-intent-new-zealand-court-told …
KUALA LUMPUR: A Wellington court was today told that there was no sexual intent when former Malaysian Embassy staff member Muhammad Rizalman Ismail entered a woman’s apartment there without any trousers and underwear in May last year.
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/116780/rizalman-had-no-sexual-intent-new-zealand-court-told
‘Bad forces’ over Rizalman, wife hid all knives
“He said bad forces were affecting his mind. In his abnormal state of mind, he failed to appreciate that it was inappropriate to enter a strange woman’s bedroom without his trousers or [underpants] on,” Stevens said.
The lawyer representing former Malaysian diplomat Muhamad Rizalman Ismail told the Wellington High Court today that “bad forces” could have affected his client.
Queens Counsel Donald Stevens said Rizalman’s wife had described that her husband faced a slew of health and behavioural problems when he took up his post as defence attache in Wellington.
These issues, the lawyer said as reported by the New Zealand Herald, allegedly included “hallucinations”, memory loss and heart palpitations.
“His behaviour changed. Some days he was okay, other days he was not. And he would frequently have very little memory of the events that took place on the days he was not okay.”
“Rizalman would sleep at his desk for no reason, and would sometimes sit in the same place for hours, disengaged and at times in a ‘perpetual daze’,” the lawyer informed the court.
Stevens said the military attache’s wife was therefore worried that her husband was suicidal.
“She describes how she hid the knives in the house. So the evidence (shows) Rizalman’s behaviour continued to deteriorate in the period leading up to the May 9 (the day of the incident).
7 December 2015
NO, IT’S NEVER THEIR FAULT….but the University of Auckland professor of psychiatry Graham Mellsop said, “…not only was he not suffering from a disease of the mind, but that he did know both the nature and quality of his actions and that he was capable of considering their moral wrongfulness or rightfulness according to commonly accepted standards.”
Rizalman blames stress because of ‘corrupt seniors’
Former Malaysian military attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail claimed he was stressed at work as a result of what he alleged was corrupt practice perpetrated by his seniors.
University of Auckland professor of psychiatry Graham Mellsop interviewed the 39-year-old Rizalman last month and his report on his mental fitness was submitted to the Wellington High Court today.
“His (Rizalman’s) major concern was that there was an element of corruption by his superiors with which he, as an underling, had to comply,” Mellsop’s report said as reported in the New Zealand Herald today.
“It was, he said, immoral. So he had not wanted to comply, but felt that he had to obey the orders of his superiors. He became ‘stressed’, developed headaches, the excessive sleepiness and the forgetfulness described in his statement,” added the professor in psychiatry.
During Rizalman’s interview with Mellsop, he told the expert psychiatrist that a Malaysian army medical team last year submitted a report which “contained those negative things about him because it was the Malaysian way to always blame their underlings”.
That Malaysian report found:
- In the days leading up to the alleged offence, Rizalman was alternatively sleepy or operating at “reasonable performance” levels. Positive drugs tests suggest this varied according to his drug use.
- His accounts of taking substances appeared to contain untruths. Examples of this included claiming not to have used cannabis and alcohol, when urine tests suggested otherwise, and claiming to smoke seven cigarettes a day, when he probably puffed 20.
- Some opinions claimed Rizalman was a “regular cheat” and a “manipulative person”.
- A Wellington medical assessment in May 2014 had diagnosed him as having “mixed depression and anxiety”. However, Rizalman was not suffering from a mental illness.
The Auckland professor opined that “on the balance of probabilities”, Rizalman suffered from symptoms consistent with “a combination of anxiety and ingestion of cannabis or cannabinoid substances”.
“My opinion is therefore that not only was he not suffering from a disease of the mind, but that he did know both the nature and quality of his actions and that he was capable of considering their moral wrongfulness or rightfulness according to commonly accepted standards,” he was reported as saying.
6 December 2015
Rizalman, Malaysia’s Uniq-sex-case-diplomat, is the target of ‘smiling’ and ‘berak’ jokes.
Rizalman as a child:”Ayah nak berak?” Bapak dia: “Ko berak je depan rumah awek. Sure dapat.”
Malaysian men who follow women who smile at them — comedian ridicules Rizalman’s testimony
A Azim Idris
A screenshot of Harith Iskander’s posting ridiculting a military attache’s evidence in court. — Pic credit Harith Iskander’s Facebook page
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5, 2015:
Renowned actor and comedian Harith Iskander has ridiculed the claim that Malaysian men would purportedly “follow up” any woman who smiled at them — something vouched for in court by a former Malaysian envoy charged with sexual assault in New Zealand..
Reacting to the public outrage generated by the claim made by 39-year-old Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, Harith provided some comic relief to the situation by mocking the former military attache’s testimony made in a New Zealand court.
“I was at the airport about to catch a flight to Singapore when a woman smiled at me which is — as we have recently discovered via a Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand — a Malaysian signal for me to follow her”
” … So now I’m boarding a flight to Penang.
“Wish me luck people!” the actor said in a Facebook posting today.
6 December 2015 | MYT 12:36 PM
Malaysians joke about smiling ‘custom’
PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are laughing at a purported “Malaysian custom” of how a smile from a woman is an invitation for a man to follow her.
In a hearing on the sexual assault of a woman, former second warrant officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail told the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand last week that he was following such a “custom” when he followed a woman back to her house.
Malaysians have reacted in shock to Rizalman’s statement with some even making jokes about his claim that smiling at someone is an invitation to follow somebody.
“I was at the airport about to catch a flight to Singapore when a woman smiled at me which is – as we have recently discovered via a Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand – a Malaysian signal for me to follow her … So now I’m boarding a flight to Penang. Wish me luck people,” wrote comedian Harith Iskander on his Facebook page on Saturday.
Facebook user Elisa Taufik wrote: “Dear Malaysian Men, If you follow me just because I smile at you, I swear to God, I will kick you in the nuts. Sincerely, Malaysian women.”
Facebook user Justin David, meanwhile, wrote a message to Malaysian women in response.
“Dear Malaysian women, If you smile at me and I don’t smile back at you, that’s because I don’t want to follow you back and I have a toilet at home. Yours sincerely and apologetically, Malaysian Men,” wrote David on his Facebook page
If Malaysian women stop smiling, blame it on phycho Rizalman.
Oh WOW wtf then I must’ve been very inviting “Rizalman: In M’sia, a woman’s smile is an invitation to follow” https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/322185
Rizalman you’re a disgrace … but,have we not heard similar degrading remarks about women from our leaders too??? http://ow.ly/38IDRw
Oh no. She smiled at me. Now I have to go find her and appear in front of her half naked.. Thanks Rizalman.. *fist bump*
Rizalman kat plaza tol. Bayar cash. Toll lady senyum kata ‘terima kasih’ Dilemma siallllll.
5 December 2015
The Trial of Rizalman: So far, so BAD!
If my Kiwi friends refuse to smile at me anymore, I blame Rizalman.
5 December 2015
Disgraced diplomat Rizalman’s mental state probed
A Malaysian military man who defecated outside the house of a woman he followed home was likely to have lied about his drug use, mental health experts have said.
Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 39, had pleaded guilty to indecent assault on Monday, the morning his trial was due to begin in the High Court at Wellington after following Tania Billingsley to her home on May 10, 2014.
Two other charges of assault with intent to commit sexual violation and burglary were discharged by Justice David Collins.
Psychologist Professor Graham Mellsop told the judge Rizalman had scored high on the lying and faking scales in a report, meaning he did not always tell the truth and suggested he was exaggerating his symptoms.
He said the only logical conclusion was his problems had come from drug ingestion.
Mellsop said he accepted there were behavioural changes, like Rizalman forgetting the words of a prayer he said five times a day but he attributed them to more regular substance ingestion.
Rizalman’s, lawyer Dr Donald Stevens QC, challenged Mellsop’s opinions saying Rizalman had been suffering from anxiety and others had seen the changes in his behaviour.
However Mellsop said he did not think Rizalman was in a state of confusion on the day of the incident since he was subsequently able to give detailed explanations of what he said had happened.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Justin Barry-Walsh also said he felt Rizalman had not been truthful about his drug intake.
The judge has adjourned the case for a week to hear submissions from the lawyers and make a decision.
Rizalman: In M’sia, a woman’s smile is an invitation to follow https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/322185 Oh my god, what a creep?!
Sex charge diplomat Muhammad Rizalman: I believe in black magic but I’ve never defecated outside woman’s house
• Former Malaysian attache admits buying drugs
• He has admitted indecently assaulting woman
• Claims superior officer put a spell on him
• Denies defecating outside woman’s house
Former Malaysian Embassy worker Muhammad Rizalman has admitted to smoking cannabis, buying synthetic cannabis and that he believes in black magic, but denies defecating outside the victim’s house to put a spell on her.
The 39-year-old, who admitted indecently assaulting a Wellington woman, has given evidence today outlining his version of events.
He disputed aspects of what the Crown says he did in a hearing about disputed facts in the High Court at Wellington.
The indecent assault happened at Ms Billingsley’s home in the suburb of Brooklyn in May last year.
The name of an indecent-assault victim is normally automatically suppressed, but Ms Billingsley has waived this right.
Mr Burston asked Rizalman about a statement he’d made in Malaysia, saying he’d never bought or used synthetic cannabis.
After being shown bank records, showing an $18.95 transaction at Cosmic on Cuba on May 2 last year, Rizalman admitted buying the legal high there.
Mr Burston said a shop employee had said Rizalman bought the highest-strength cannabis – puff super strength. That costs $15 and cigarette papers costs about $4.
Rizalman accepted that.
Interest in women
Rizalman was asked about an assessment report in June last year, which said there was information about Rizalman’s “increased interest towards women”.
“You went to a place called Mermaids in Wellington twice when you felt under pressure,” Mr Burston said.
“Yes,” Rizalman replied.
“The women were taking their clothes off?”
“Only their outer clothes.”
“The women were topless?”
“Were you interested in looking at the attractive women in the strip club?”
“Why did you go to the strip club?”
“To listen to music and release tension.”
Rizalman had told the detective sergeant Ms Billingsley invited him back to her house. Mr Burston said that wasn’t true.
“When I was outside the shop, the girl was giving me signals, the way she looked at me and the way she smiled at me. It was as if she was inviting me over,” Rizalman said.
“I’ll ask you again, you were making up the girl inviting [you] back to her house to give a reasonable explanation for the police as to why you were there?” Mr Burston asked.
Mr Burston said Rizalman spoke again to the female constable at the police station, where he was again asked what had happened.
Mr Burston said Rizalman told police: “I met that lady at the movies. I follow her back to her place. She lets me in and I ate some food. She invited me back.”
Mr Burston said Ms Billingsley did not let Rizalman in, she hadn’t invited him back and he had not eaten any food.
Rizalman said today he was getting signals from the way she smiled at him. But Ms Billingsley had not invited him back to her place.
“Not from her speech but from her mannerisms and the way she smiled and the way she behaved” led Rizalman to believe he was invited back to Ms Billingsley’s.
“In Malaysian custom, if a woman smiles at a man it is deemed that they are happy to know that person.”
“So that’s an invitation to follow them home is it?” Mr Burston asked.
“It is an invitation to follow.” It wouldn’t necessarily mean you go into their house, Rizalman said.
Rizalman says in Malaysia if a woman smiles at a man it is a signal to follow her. WTF.
Muhammad Rizalman defecated outside a woman’s house so she’d fall in love with him – Crown http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/74727957/malaysian-envoy-defecated-outside-womans-house–crown …
4 December 2015
Rizalman: In M’sia, a woman’s smile is an invitation to follow
Former defence attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail who is facing trial for sexual assault in New Zealand told the Wellington High Court that it was a Malaysian custom that women who smile are inviting men to follow them.
Rizalman said this in response to questions from Crown prosecutor Grant Burston who asked why the Malaysian had followed his alleged victim Tania Billingsley home and was subsequently accused of assaulting her.
According to the NZ Herald, Rizalman testified that he was ‘getting signals’ from the way Billingsley smiled at him.
“Not from her speech but from her mannerisms and the way she smiled and the way she behaved.
“In Malaysian custom, if a woman smiles at a man it is deemed that they are happy to know that person,” he said.
Burston then asked Rizalman if a woman’s smile was an invitation to follow them home.
At this, he replied: “It is an invitation to follow. It wouldn’t necessarily mean you go into their house”.
Rizalman: I went to strip club for music, not to ogle at women
Former defence attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail admitted to a Wellington High Court that he went to a strip club but claimed he was only there for the music.
Rizalman, who was attached with the Malaysian High Commission before being charged, is facing trial in New Zealand for sexual assault.
According to NZ Herald, prosecutor Grant Burston asked if RIzalman had gone to to the strip club called “Mermaids” in Wellington on two occasions when he felt under pressure.
Burston: The women were taking their clothes off?
Rizalman: Only their outer clothes.
Burston: The women were topless?
Burston: Were you interested in looking at the attractive women in the strip club?
Burston: Why did you go to the strip club?
Rizalman: To listen to music and release tension.
Rizalman defecated outside woman’s house, NZ court told
A Malaysian military man believed in black magic, including a spell that meant if he defecated outside a woman’s house she would fall in love with him, a court has heard.
Crown prosecutor Grant Burston began cross examining Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 39, at the High Court in Wellington in a disputed facts hearing on Friday.
Burston said: “It was the reason you took off your belt and lowered your trousers and underpants outside this young woman’s front door on the patio.
“It was more about black magic than about having to go to the toilet in an emergency.”
Rizalman said no, but admitted he believed in black magic and that a superior officer had put a spell on him.
Burston also asked about Rizalman about going into Cosmic Corner on Cuba St on May 2, and buying synthetic cannabis.
Rizalman admitted he had but would not admit he had used it.
He said he could not remember asking two women working there if they had boyfriends or wanting to go for a drink.
Burston asked him if he remembered one of the women asking him to leave her alone, and a male staff member having to usher him from the shop.
Rizalman said he did not.
The crown prosecutor then asked him about going to Mermaids bar in Courtenay Place twice when he felt under pressure.
Rizalman said he went to listen to music and release tension.
Another woman was followed by him in a car after she saw him staring at her through a shop window, only the day before he went to Billingsley’s home.
Rizalman denied wanting to have sex with the shop assistants or the girls at Mermaids.
30 November 2015
Diplomat pleads guilty to indecent assault in NZ case
The woman attacked in her Wellington home by a former Malaysian High Commission military attache is “really pleased” he pleaded guilty this morning, the day he was due to go on trial.
Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 39, was due for a three-week jury trial on Monday charged with indecent assault, assault with intent to commit sexual violation and burglary by remaining in a building on May 9, 2014.
On Monday morning, he pleaded guilty at the High Court in Wellington to indecent assault and the other two charges were dropped. Rizalman’s lawyer, Donald Stevens QC, told justice David Collins that his client would change his not-guilty plea to indecent assault.
A key supporter of Tania Billingsley, who earlier waived her right to name suppression, said the victim was thrilled with her attacker’s guilty plea.
“She’s really pleased with that outcome and really just thankful she has had such wonderful support at this time.”
She was also “extremely grateful” that she would not have to go through a trial, said the supporter, whose name remained suppressed by the court.
“She had been extremely anxious about [a trial] because you are walking into the unknown.”
The supporter said Billingsley had authorised her to comment to media on her behalf and did not wish to comment publicly herself while legal arguments about the case were ongoing, nor to attend court hearings.
“Until she is required to attend [court], she won’t.”
A statement of facts was read to the court, then interpreted into Malay for Rizalman.
It said Billingsley had been home alone watching a movie in her bedroom. Rizalman took off his trousers and underwear before going into the house through the closed but unlocked front door.
In the kitchen he then took off his jacket before knocking on her partially open bedroom door and pushing it open.
He asked her if he could come in.
Billingsley looked up and saw him wearing only a shirt and naked from the waist down. She screamed at him to leave. Rizalman put his hands on her shoulders but she managed to push him into the living room, then out of the flat before locking him out.
She then locked herself in the bathroom and called police. A flatmate’s boyfriend arrived home and challenged Rizalman, who was still outside the front door.
Rizalman began walking away but was stopped down the road by police.
May 27, 2015
Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, Malaysia’s former attaché to New Zealand was literally caught with his pants down when he was charged with an indecent assault by touching Tania Billingsley in her bedroom while not wearing his lower clothing.
This is an alternative charge offered to the 39-year old Rizalman at the Wellington High Court, besides two other main charges.
The details of the new charge was made available to Malaysiakini wherein the former diplomat is staring at a maximum jail sentence of seven years if convicted.
Rizalman was also charged with burglary by having entered into Billingsley home, and for assaulting her with the intent to commit sexual violation.
Ex-M’sian diplomat pleads not guilty to indecent assault
Currently on bail, Rizalman was arrested May 10 last year following police reports made by Tania Billingsley, then 21, who accused him of trying to sexually assault her.
PETALING JAYA: Disgraced former Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman Ismail has pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault for an incident that happened in Wellington, New Zealand last year.
Rizalman, 39 will have a hearing in August where pre-trial issues will be dealt with.
The trial is expected to begin in November this year in Wellington.
According to New Zealand Herald, he will reappear before the court next February 19.
Rizalman pleads not guilty to sex assault http://bit.ly/1qD9Rws
Former Malaysian military attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault on a New Zealand woman.
According to local daily stuff.co.nz today, the former officer at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington appeared briefly at the Wellington District Court this morning and has claimed trial by jury.
Malay Mail Online
NZ court changes Malaysian envoy’s bail conditions pending sexual assault case
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 ― A New Zealand court today amended the bail conditions for a junior Malaysian diplomat who is set to face trial there next month for alleged sexual assault.
The junior envoy Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who was granted bail last week, had applied to change the address where he will be staying while remanded on bail, his curfew hours and restrictions to travel within the inner city of Wellington, the New Zealand’s Dominion Post reported.
According to Dominion Post, the prosecutor’s objected to Muhammad Rizalman’s requests, but Wellington District Court Judge Bruce Davidson allowed the address change.
The judge extended the daily overnight curfew hours on Muhammad Rizalman from the initial 10pm to 7am by ordering it to start from 7pm.
Davidson did not lift the travel restrictions stopping the extradited Malaysian from entering Newtown, Berhampore or Cuba St in the inner city, it reported.
The New Zealand Herald reported today that the other conditions for Muhammad Rizalman’s bail include surrendering his passport and the prohibition of any contact with the alleged victim in the sexual assault case.
The Malaysian will appear in court next month to face charges of intent to commit sexual violating and alleged burglary by remaining in a building.
Rizalman did not object to his extradition to New Zealand, Dewan Rakyat told
WHO WILL PAY HIS LEGAL FEES? That won’t be a small sum!
His lawyer is Donald Stevens QC.
The cost of a Queen’s Counsel is not insignificant and, considering Rizalman’s current rank as a warrant officer, the question of who pays for his defence is relevant.
A 2011 report of the New Zealand Law Society says that the most common hourly rate was NZ$550 to NZ$649 (NZ$1 is RM2.59).
New Zealand Law Society
Queen’s Counsel rank recognises excellence
While the rank brings standing in court and recognition in the legal profession and wider community, it is debatable whether fortune follows fame. As with most successful lawyers, QCs are coy about revealing if the change of letterhead and addition of two letters after their name results in substantially higher fees and more clients.
A survey by Richard Burcher of legal services pricing consultancy Validatum Ltd in 2011 received responses from around two-thirds of New Zealand’s Queen’s Counsel. This found the most common hourly rate was $550 to $649 (for 23% of respondents). At the top end, 7% of respondents billed over $1,050/hour. Mr Burcher says the respondents were a good representation of all Queen’s Counsel, right across the charging range. By way of comparison, a survey of law firm partners at the same time found the most common hourly rate was $341 to $360 (for 16% of respondents) and only 5% of responding partners billed over $400/hour.
Malaysian diplomat did not flee NZ: court
- October 28, 2014
A FORMER Malaysian diplomat extradited to New Zealand after being accused of sexual assault was told by his government to leave the country, a court has been told.
MUHAMMAD Rizalman bin Ismail, 38, was granted bail in Wellington District Court on Tuesday.
Despite the charges, Rizalman was able to leave the country two weeks later with his family after Malaysia declined to waive diplomatic immunity.
His lawyer, Donald Stevens QC, denied his client had “fled” New Zealand. “He left the country because the Malaysian High Commission would not waive diplomatic immunity,” Mr Stevens said.
“He was directed by the Malaysian government to go back to Malaysia. “As a serving officer in the army, he of course follows directions.”
Tuesday October 28, 2014 MYT 9:56:58 AM
Rizalman granted bail by New Zealand court
WELLINGTON: Second warrant officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who arrived in New Zealand on Saturday to face burglary and assault charges, has been granted bail.
Rizalman agreed to strict conditions, including a curfew, not contacting his alleged victim, surrendering his passport and remaining under the supervision of two Malaysian military attaches.
Judge Arthur Tompkins granted bail but said Rizalman’s lawyers must apply again to have it extended on Nov 3.
He ordered Rizalman to return to court on Nov 21 to enter pleas on charges arising from the alleged attack, details of which have not been publicly released.
Rizalman faces a jail term of up to 10 years if found guilty.
NO APPLICATION FOR BAIL MADE. He will remain in jail till Tuesday.
Rizalman remanded 155 days after fleeing NZ The escape from NZ ends, only for the saga to continue. http://fb.me/7U0VctE7T
Former Malaysian military attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail was finally remanded by a New Zealand court today after fleeing the country for 155 days.
He was extradited to New Zealand yesterday by Wisma Putra, and reportedly spent the night in Manukau police station upon arrival at the Auckland International Airport, according to stuff.co.nz.
Today he appeared before Justice of the Peace Hewitt Humphrey at the Wellington District Court where he was remanded and due to reappear on Tuesday.
Rizalman’s appointed lawyer, Donald Stevens QC, who is not appointed by the Malaysian government, made no application for bail.
At the sitting, the media also applied to film and photograph the court proceedings but was opposed by Rizalman’s counsel, citing, among others, that it may affect his client’s right to a fair trial.
The court eventually granted use of footage of the proceedings by the media but not that of the accused.
Rizalman appoints lawyer to face court in NZ http://bit.ly/1t81Leo
Second Warrant Officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail has appointed his counsel as the former defence staff assistant at the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand is set to be produced in a Wellington court tomorrow over an accusation of burglary and assault in the New Zealand capital.
Muhammad Rizalman, 38, was extradited to New Zealand today following an official extradition request made on Oct 3.
A Wisma Putra official, when contacted today, confirmed that Muhammad Rizalman left for New Zealand by a Malaysia Airlines flight from the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 8.55am today.
“He has his lawyer; he appointed himself… (the lawyer) not appointed by the government,” the official said.
The official said the MAS flight taken by Muhammad Rizalman was to Auckland, from where he would take a domestic flight to Wellington.
Friday October 24, 2014 MYT 2:05:18 PM
Rizalman extradited to New Zealand
PETALING JAYA: Former second warrant officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail has been extradited to New Zealand to face charges for burglary and assault.
Wisma Putra confirmed that the 35-year-old left Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) aboard MH133 to Auckland at 8.55am Friday, and is expected to arrive there later in the evening.
On Saturday, he will board another flight and arrive in Wellington at about 10.30am. Shortly after, he is expected to face charges in a court there.
“He was escorted by two police officers from New Zealand, along with two Defence Ministry personnel – which is Mr Rizalman’s Ministry,” said a Wisma Putra spokesman.
He was escorted into the plane without handcuffs and has reportedly expressed his wish to voluntarily return to New Zealand.
A diplomat facing sexual assault charges appears set to return to New Zealand this Friday http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11346612&ref=NZH_Tw …
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said this afternoon he had been advised there had been a court case in Malaysia to order the extradition of Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail, a former envoy at the Malaysian High Commission.
Mr McCully told reporters it was now clear that there would be a trial in New Zealand. The minister would not comment further, saying he did not want to prejudice the trial.
“The matter is entirely in the hands of the judicial system in both countries.”
Asked about media reports that Rizalman will return to New Zealand on Friday, Mr McCully said: “I have heard a report along those lines but you need to get that confirmed with police.”
Malaysian Envoy In Sex Case Back In NZ Saturday, Report Says http://dlvr.it/7H73T
KUALA LUMPUR: Citing unnamed “official sources”, Wellington-based daily The Dominion Post claimed today that the Malaysian junior diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a New Zealand citizen will arrive in the country Saturday morning and appear in court straight after.
The paper said reported that Muhammad Rizalman Ismail will fly back from Malaysia overnight on Friday and will be escorted by New Zealand police officers.
“On landing in the capital, he will immediately be taken to Wellington District Court to face the charges, it is understood,” the daily added.
It was not made clear whether the “official sources” cited were from Malaysia or New Zealand.
THEY WILL CHARGE HIM IN COURT IN WELLINGTON BUT WILL HE BE THERE?
The New Zealand Herald
Diplomat case: Charges could be laid next week
The Malaysian diplomat who fled New Zealand will be sent back to face charges here as soon as next week.
Today, official sources would not confirm or deny reports the diplomat would be sent back next week. Police said the extradition process was ongoing.
IT GETS MORE CONFUSING AND MORE INTRIGUING…
Malay Mail Online
Report: Military envoy facing Kiwi assault charges had no diplomatic passport, but given immunity
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 ― A Malaysian junior envoy wanted in New Zealand for trespass and attempted sexual assault charges did not hold a diplomatic passport, New Zealand Herald reported today.
But Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 35, was still allowed diplomatic immunity ― which enabled him to return to Malaysia shortly after he was charged ― as he had diplomatic status.
Citing its country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday, the daily reported that Rizalman had used his personal passport to enter New Zealand.
But the daily also cited an unnamed ministry spokesman saying the Malaysian military attache was “entitled to immunity from criminal jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.
Wellington blamed for extradition delay http://bit.ly/1BUET24
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has blamed Wellington for the delay in the extradition to New Zealand of former military attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail in connection with an alleged sex crime.
“The last that I know, it is on their side,” Hishammuddin told a press conference at the Parliament lobby this morning.
He said this in response to a question on whether the slow extradition process was due to Putrajaya’s fault or its counterpart in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry also denied accusations that Putrajaya is “dragging its feet” on the matter.
The ministry said it received an official request for the extradition on Oct 3, some five months after the case emerged.
In accordance with Malaysia’s Extradition Act 1992, the ministry said, it forwarded the request to the Home Ministry and Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action.
“The ministry would like to reiterate that given the excellent bilateral relations between Malaysia and New Zealand, as well as taking into account the strong public interest in the case, the extradition request will undergo the due process of the law.
“Malaysia will continue to work closely with New Zealand to ensure that the rights of all the parties related to this case are respected and protected,” it added in a statement.
Gobind: Come clean on Rizalman, Najib told http://bit.ly/1CR70Sj
A DAP lawmaker has called on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain the delay in sending Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand to face sexual assault charges.
“He must tell us what has happened in the last five months and whether his government will still honor its pledge to send Rizalman back to New Zealand,” said Gobind Singh Deo.
Unexplained delays in envoy’s NZ extradition denting Malaysia’s image, PM told: KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The prim… http://bit.ly/1y0cgTF
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The prime minister must shed light on the five-month-long delay in the return of a Malaysian diplomat to New Zealand to face trial there or risk tarnishing the country’s image, DAP MP Gobind Singh Deo said today.
The alleged lack of progress in the extradition of Muhammad Rizalman Ismail — who was charged with alleged sexual assault of a New Zealand citizen — was sending the “wrong signal” about Malaysia’s sincerity and competence, Gobind said.
“It suggests Putrajaya is either plainly incompetent and unable to deliver on its pledges to foreign countries or that it is dragging its feet in the matter.
“All in all, it reflects poorly on our country,” the Puchong MP wrote in a statement today.
Gobind noted that questions have been raised over Rizalman’s delayed return to New Zealand, which the junior envoy left shortly after being charged, saying that Putrajaya cannot “run away” from criticisms and must “come clean” over this issue.
Noting that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had previously given his assurance that Malaysia will send Rizalman to New Zealand, Gobind said a “full” explanation from the national leader on the delay is now necessary.
“He must tell us what has happened in the last five months and whether his government will still honor its pledge to send Rizalman back to New Zealand,” Gobind said, adding that both Rizalman and the alleged assault victim will benefit from a quick extradition.
“The prime minister must acknowledge the sensitivities involved given the nature of the complaint in this case. It is to the benefit of all concerned that the matter be dealt with expeditiously,” he said.
NZ tells Malaysia: “Sorry about Alvin Tan. It really sucks when you can’t get an offender back to face punishment!” http://shar.es/1a8QzJ
AUCKLAND: New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key today sympathised with Malaysia’s struggle to bring former sex blogger Alvin Tan back to face criminal charges for his outrageous behaviour.
“Yes I heard this Alvin Tan broke local Malaysian laws, and that US authorities are in no hurry to return him to face punishment in Malaysia. It makes one furious when a criminal is beyond your reach while the victims of his actions are demanding justice!”
“We New Zealanders recall a diplomatic staff member from a certain SE Asian Country, facing charges for sexual offences committed here. It’s been months, but we are still waiting for him to be returned to face trial, and a possible 10 year prison sentence. These extradition cases can really suck!”
Extradition request for Malaysian diplomat http://dlvr.it/758DFz
Extradition request for Malaysian diplomat
New Zealand has formally filed an extradition request to return a sexual-assault accused Malaysian diplomat almost five months after he was arrested here and left the country.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman confirmed the extradition request in relation to Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail has been authorised and signed by the acting Minister of Justice Chris Finlayson and sent to Malaysian authorities.
While there is no extradition treaty between New Zealand and Malaysia, the Mfat spokeswoman said “Lawyers from both governments have been sharing documents and working through technically complex legal arrangements”.
“This is now a legal issue for the Malaysian authorities and courts and the Ministry is unable to comment further at this time.”
– The Dominion Post
NZ: Bid to extradite Rizalman started in July Ex-military attache to face charges of burglary and assault with… http://fb.me/278jhXTS0
6:24PM Sep 28, 2014
NZ: Bid to extradite Rizalman started in July
Auckland has commenced its bid to extradite former Malaysian military attaché Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand for alleged crimes of burglary and assault with intent to rape.
The crimes were said to have been committed in May.
According to The New Zealand Herald, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) in a statement yesterday said the first step to Rizalman’s extradition was initiated in July.
“Lawyers from both governments have been sharing documents and working through technically complex legal arrangements.
“An announcement will be made once the arrangements are finalised,” a government spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The spokesperson added that Auckland was satisfied with the process and appreciated the ongoing cooperation offered by Putrajaya.
The report added that the extradition process was complex as the two countries did not have any extradition treaty.
The Malaysian government is ready to send former military attaché Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand to stand trial, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We are now only waiting for the official request to be made by the New Zealand government,” a ministry spokesperson told Malaysiakini today.
In immediate response, New Zealand said that Rizalman’s return is still subject legal arrangements.
Stuff.co.nz reported that a New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson said the ministry is unable to comment further.
Monday September 8, 2014 MYT 7:36:04 AM
Efforts ongoing to send officer to New Zealand
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and New Zealand continue to work closely to send Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail back to New Zealand to face charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape a 21-year-old Kiwi woman.
“We only want justice to prevail,” Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.
“Justice for whoever is making the allegation but at the same time, justice for the accused,” he added to reporters after opening the Lembah Pantai Umno meeting yesterday.
He said he did not want the accused to be tried by the media or the public.
12:43PM Aug 26, 2014
Psychiatric evaluation of Rizalman completed
The psychiatric evaluation of former military attaché Muhammad Rizalman Ismail has been completed, Armed Forces chief Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said today.
“As to when are we sending him (to New Zealand), that depends on Wisma Putra and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and the two countries (Malaysia and New Zealand).
Psychiatric evaluation of Rizalman completed
2:18PM Aug 5, 2014
Malaysia to send Rizalman to NZ for trial
The Malaysian government is making arrangements to send former military attaché Muhammad Rizalman Ismail back to New Zealand to stand trial.
“In this regard, Malaysia and New Zealand are discussing the required legal procedures to enable this to be done according to the applicable international and domestic laws,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement today.
The statement breaks the ministry’s month long silence on the affair.
Also on Sunday, a prominent local newspaper, the New Zealand Herald published an editorial lambasting the delays and the explanations given as “unsatisfactory”.
“New Zealanders should be told why a process that seemed set to be straightforward has become so involved. Early last month, Malaysia volunteered to return Rizalman to this country, saying justice had to be done and seen to be done to ensure its credibility and image was upheld internationally.
“Subsequently, the diplomat had to be admitted to a Malaysian military hospital for psychiatric treatment. He was released more than a week ago, but it seems now that he will not be back in New Zealand any time soon,” the newspaper said.
4 August 2014
Rizalman had wanted to remain in Malaysia for Raya. Now that Raya is over, will he stay on?
Rizalman was admitted to Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Kuala Lumpur for psychiatric treatment, and according to the Herald, he was released more than a week ago.
YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA
When will Malaysian sex-assault suspect go on trial, asks NZ daily
A New Zealand daily has questioned the country’s foreign affairs minister for keeping mum over the delay in returning a Malaysian defence officer, due to be extradited from Malaysia last month to face charges of burglary and assault.
Mohammed Rizalman Ismail (pic), a Second Warrant officer attached to the Malaysian High Commission, was to be sent back to New Zealand almost a month ago, but the New Zealand Herald said Wellington had been silent on the matter.
“Not only did this not happen but we are no closer to knowing when he will actually stand trial in Wellington.
“Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and his officials are refusing to shed any light on Rizalman’s return,” said the paper in its Sunday editorial yesterday.
It questioned how a process which seemed “straightforward has become so involved”.
Rizalman was later admitted to Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Kuala Lumpur for psychiatric treatment, and according to the Herald, he was released more than a week ago.
“But it seems now that he will not be back in New Zealand any time soon,” the paper added.
It also questioned whether Malaysia was now resisting his extradition.
“Has it changed from the initial placatory attitude to New Zealand?”
According to media reports, Rizalman is undergoing a second round of psychiatric assessments at Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital.
The reports said his mental condition had to be evaluated so that it would hold up in New Zealand courts.
Visvanathan said keeping Rizalman at the hospital was a mockery of the New Zealand court because the findings were of little or no value there.
“Our credibility is at stake by delaying his departure. We are seen as challenging the New Zealand legal and judicial system.”
August 4, 2014.
Free Malaysia Today
Nobody knows when Rizalman will be returned to NZ
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister says a Malaysian waiver of immunity to speed up the return of the diplomat has not been granted swiftly enough.
WELLINGTON: Nobody seems to know when the Malaysian crime-accused diplomat will be returned to New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully said the precise date is “completely in the hands of the lawyers.”
The diplomat Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, 38, is accused of assault with intent to rape Tania Billingsley on May 9.
The New Zealand Herald quotes McCully as saying he told the Malaysian government that Rizalman is going to get a fair trial in New Zealand, which is “not prejudiced with a lot of loose talk”.
“My job here is to try and make sure that the Malaysian government can have confidence in our system. I’m not going to get tied up in a domestic debate, even though it’s coming close to an election.”
“I’m doing my level best to make sure that’s the case, and that it’s not prejudiced with a lot of loose talk.”
Rizalman’s defence counsel could lodge applications for a doctor to determine whether he is fit to stand trial and for bail when he appears in court.
Possible proceedings in
The New Zealand Herald, quoting Auckland University political studies associate professor Stephen Hoadley, reported that Rizalman’s defence counsel could lodge applications for a doctor to determine whether he is fit to stand trial and for bail when he appears in court.
However, if granted bail, Hoadley said although Rizalman’s movements will be restricted, it is unlikely that he will have to surrender his passport.
“The Malaysian government stands behind him and has agreed with the New Zealand government that he will go to trial, so there will be an element of trust.
“The danger of him absconding is low because his own government will guide him and make sure that he appears in the right place at the right time,” said Hoadley.
However, Hoadley added that if Rizalman were to stand trial, it was unlikely to be fast-tracked and would be scheduled like any other pending cases.
The online news agency also reported that Rizalman’s return to New Zealand would be at Malaysia’s expense.
LATEST 11 July 2014
It was reported that on May 9, Rizalman had allegedly followed the woman from a bus stop to her Brooklyn house before breaking in and undressing himself. The woman fought him off and neighbours came to her aid.
Meanwhile, NZ Law Society president Chris Moore said media coverage of the case “may be coming close to harmful interference with the process of how we determine guilt”.
Auckland University law professor Warren Brookbanks said: “The the defendant could be prejudged in the court of public opinion when he has no opportunity to answer or offer a defence to the allegations.”
He said the all the publicity meant “there will be real problems in getting an impartial jury”.
“In going public in this way the complainant risks jeopardising her credibility as a witness, potentially weakening the prosecution case.”
Tania Billingsley – Hero of the Week http://thejackalman.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/tania-billingsley-hero-of-week.html …
Political commentator John Bishop next on MFAT, McCully and Tania Billingsley‘s call for the foreign minister to resign
Click on this link for the interview
“I have reviewed the tape and I accept that my comments were not helpful at all. Sexual assault IS a big deal, and I applaud Tania Rose Billingsley for her brave and courageous appearance on television last night.”
The New Zealand Herald
Diplomat case: Harawira’s ‘big mistake’
By Staff reporters
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says he made a “big mistake” and has apologised for earlier dismissing the sex assault case involving Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail as a “big fuss about bugger all”.
Mr Harawira made the comments on the political show Backbenches last week.
When asked about the case on the show, he said: “I think all of the media, their heads should roll, for making a big fuss about bugger all. There are kids starving in this country, there are a whole lot of issues we need to be dealing with right here, right now … it’s something we can do without.”
He said it was an alleged crime.
“Until such time as this sorts itself out, let’s get on with running the country in the best interests of all of its citizens.”
But this morning on his Facebook page, he apologised.
“Sometimes I make little mistakes and sometimes I make big mistakes. The thing is, when you’re wrong, front up and deal with it. I made a BIG mistake last week.
“I want to sincerely apologise if my comments on Backbenches may seem to have minimised the gravity of the situation regarding the young woman who asked police to investigate the complaint of sexual assault against the Malaysian diplomat.
TANIA BILLINGSLEY WRITES ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE, THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND AND NEW ZEALAND’S CULTURE OF RAPE.
http://www.3news.co.nz/Portals/0/images/TANIA-ESSAY.pdf … Tania Billingsley‘s writing on her ordeal.
Since my assault I feel that people have been assuming that my idea of justice is to have Rizalman found guilty in a New Zealand court. While it is an important part of justice being done, my main reason for wanting this is not for my own sense of satisfaction but to keep other women safe. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I have gone through. And if my idea of justice means ensuring the safety of women and others, then it cannot stop at the prosecution of this man. Violence does not occur in a vacuum. There are very real reasons why sexual assault is happening in our country every day. This is because our society normalises, trivializes and in both obvious and subtle ways condones rape. This is called rape culture.
We have seen this rape culture reflected in our own government’s response to my assault. It only became a matter of importance that was properly addressed when it started to inconvenience those in power. When I saw my assault being reported in the media it was primarily men given the authority to speak on it, when, apart from the police, it was women who were doing the incredibly hard job of supporting me, listening to me and helping me begin to heal.
I want an accountability that is not just about legal prosecution. This is effectively putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, and statistically in 99 percent of these cases it is an ambulance that won’t even work. I want an accountability that is going to stop sexual violence in this country. I wouldn’t wish my experience or that of other survivors on anybody and if the Government really wants justice to be done then they need to properly address rape culture in our society and work on stopping sexual violence, not just reacting to it.
Tania Billingsley‘s essay is well worth reading: http://www.3news.co.nz/Portals/0/images/TANIA-ESSAY.pdf …
Via several people:
#TaniaBillingsley‘s brave and incisive statement: http://www.3news.co.nz/Portals/0/images/TANIA-ESSAY.pdf … #nzpol #rapeculture
WHO IS TANIA ROSE BILLINGSLEY?
We learn that she is talented. She is credited with the cover of this issue of the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre Newsletter.
Cover by Tania Billingsley. Design by Koen Greven.
Tania Billingsley is amazing. I respect her no end. Amazing. Let’s listen to her some more.
Tania Billingsley to family of alleged Malaysian attacker: I know you are victims too http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/tania-billingsley-to-family-of-alleged-malaysian-attacker-i-know-you-are-vi … via
Alleged victim Please name me: The woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Malaysian diplomat has aske… http://news24h.allnews24h.com/9vE
YOUNG WOMAN HAS COME OUT AND IDENTIFIED HERSELF!
SHE HAS WAIVED HER RIGHT TO HAVE HER NAME SUPPRESSED.
In an interview with TV3’s 3rd Degree screened this evening, Tania Rose Billingsley, waived her right to name suppression which she had lifted in Wellington District Court this morning.
In the interview the 21-year-old does not detail her version of events but tells of her shock learning on her birthday — the day after the alleged attack — that Rizalman could leave.
‘‘I was frustrated and I was angry … from the very beginning I said that I wanted him to stay in New Zealand and be held accountable here,’’ she told 3rd Degree.
Wellington woman Tania Billingsley has come forward, as the woman at the centre of the alleged case against a Malaysian diplomat.
UNLIKE OUR MINISTERS, MINISTERS IN NEW ZEALAND ANSWER TO THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL AND TO THEIR ELECTORATE IN PARTICULAR.
Thus, a call for the resignation of a minster there may prove effective!
Diplomat’s alleged victim calls for McCully to resign
Published: 8:31PM Wednesday July 09, 2014 Source: ONE News
The young woman at the centre of an alleged sex attack by a Malaysian diplomat in Wellington is calling for the Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to resign.
The woman can now be identified as Tania after she applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved.
THIS IS WHAT MAKES SO MANY PEOPLE SUSPICIOUS
- Published on Monday, 07 July 2014 12:1
KUALA LUMPUR: The former Malaysian High Commission defence staff assistant remained in Malaysia last night, despite assurances last week he would be returned to New Zealand to assist police with the ongoing investigation into an incident on May 9 during which a 21-year-old Wellington woman was allegedly followed home and assaulted.
New Zealand Herald reported that Malaysian officials are silent over when diplomat Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail will be returned to New Zealand to face burglary and sexual assault charges.
The 38- year-old father of three was expected to fly back today, but it now remains unclear after doctors say he may require further medical tests.
He has been in the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital since Tuesday for psychiatric evaluation.
OUR GOVERNMENT STILL DOESN’T REALIZE THAT THE SCANDAL HAS MOVED AWAY FROM THE DIPLOMAT TO THE GOVERNMENT.
IT IS THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS ON TRIAL FOR THE WAY IT HAS HANDLED, AND IS NOW HANDLING, THE WHOLE ISSUE!
Here is an example:
Published on Jul 5, 2014
The Malaysian military attache in New Zealand accused of committing a sexual crime in Wellington should not face “media or public opinion trial” once he returns to New Zealand to face the charges laid out against him, Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said today.
He also denies that the government had tried to cover up the case, brushing it off as allegations made by Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Video: Hisham: Rizalman should not face “public opinion” trial
9:43AM Jul 7, 2014
Hisham, were you aware of Wisma Putra’s cover-up?
YOURSAY ‘Indeed, were you consulted when the May 21 letter was drafted?’
Appum: Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, you got it all wrong. The accused in not on trial by media here but the handling of the affair is. See the difference?
What we are concerned with is how and why military attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail left New Zealand with the connivance of the foreign office; why he is still here; why more medical tests are needed, etc, etc.
Rizalman seems “withdrawn and depressed” and the doctors justify this by saying he needs more tests. What do the doctors expect of Rizalman? Guilty or not, you don’t expect Rizalman to be jumping for joy.
See, Hisham, we are not criticising Rizalman. We are taking to task all the people working on his case.
Sleepy: I think Appum has got it spot on. The public opinion is on the handling of the affair, not the trial. The public knows the difference but I can see that you don’t, minister. How shameful.
Abasir: Hishamuddin, as defense minister, were you consulted when the May 21 letter was drafted and sent to the New Zealand government?
If you were, then you are complicit with the attempt to get NZ to drop the charges, seal the documents and pretend the alleged crime did not happen.
And if you were behind that promise to the NZ government to ensure Rizalman never sets foot in NZ again, then you had already judged the man, found him guilty even before a trial.
But if you say that you were kept in the dark and had no knowledge of this sordid affair and the Foreign Ministry actions, it is clear you are not really a defence minister as you make yourself out to be.
So come clean even though it is a case of ‘damned if you do’ and ‘damned if you don’t’.
Hytan: The decision by the Malaysian government not to waive the diplomatic immunity of the military attache is arguable, but not to request the sealing all documents relating to the police investigation and the withdrawing all charges against Rizalman.
If this is not a cover-up, what is it then, Minister Hishamuddin?
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He wanted to remain in the country till Raya. It looks like he will get his wish after all!
10:45AM Jul 6, 2014
Wanted diplomat may miss NZ flight tomorrow
In a latest twist to the Malaysia-New Zealand diplomatic fiasco, the latter may not be getting wanted Malaysian diplomat back to Wellington to face charges on Monday as reported yesterday.
News daily The New Zealand Herald this morning reported that Malaysian doctors say Muhammad Rizalman Ismail may not be fit to fly tomorrow as he may need further “psychiatric evaluation”.
Quoting a source at Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital telling the daily last night, it said “Rizalman was ‘not looking good’ and might need further tests”.
Rizalman was arrested in Wellington on May 9 after allegedly assaulting a 21-year-old woman. The Star reported yesterday that Rizalman told officials he had gone to watch a movie with the woman and followed her back to her home in Brooklyn.
The New Zealand Herald
Sex-case diplomat expected back in NZ on Monday
The Malaysian diplomatic aide accused of burglary and intent to rape could be sent back to New Zealand without diplomatic immunity as early as Monday.
Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail underwent final
psychiatric evaluation yesterday and could be discharged over the weekend.
“We just need to get the results and wait for the doctor’s report and he will be discharged,” a doctor at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Kuala Lumpur told the Herald.
The doctor, who is a high-ranking military staffer, said Rizalman would be sent back as soon as the evaluations were complete. A source said four seats had been blocked for a flight on Monday night to Auckland. No names had been given for the booking.
The Herald was stopped from seeing Rizalman, but was offered an off-the-record meeting with the hospital’s commanding officer. A request to interview his wife through the officer was turned down.
Wisma Putra on Tuesday announced that the diplomat would be sent to Wellington after the New Zealand government pressed for the accused to stand trial there.
1. No, he can’t be tried in Malaysia.
2. The victim is “pleased that he would be coming back to New Zealand to face justice”.
3. Hisham: right to extradite him to NZ.
5:59PM Jul 4, 2014
Lawyers: Diplomat can’t be tried in Malaysian court
Senior lawyers in Kuala Lumpur believe that the Malaysian government has no option but to let the diplomat involved in the offences of attempted burglary and sexual assault in New Zealand be sent back to the country and be tried there.
This is because under the Extra-territorial Offences Act 1976, the offences committed by the officer do not apply in this case to warrant him to be tried in the Malaysian courts.
The act is to deal with certain offences under written laws committed in any place without and beyond the limits of Malaysia and on the high seas on board any ship or on any aircraft registered in Malaysia or otherwise, as if they were committed in Malaysia.
Most senior lawyers said that it was very difficult for the envoy, a warrant officer II from Mindef and attached to the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand, to take the stand on the charges here as the offences did not fall within the act and were also committed in another country.
Friday July 4, 2014 MYT 7:52:48 PM
Victim of alleged sexual assault pleased that Rizalman will face justice in New Zealand
PETALING JAYA: The 21-year-old victim has welcomed the decision to have former defence assistant Muhammad Rizalman Ismail tried in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Herald reported on Friday citing Green MP Jan Logie as saying that the victim was “pleased that he would be coming back to New Zealand to face justice”.
The Herald said that a doctor at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital, where Muhammad Rizalman is being held for tests on his mental and emotional condition, said he would not be discharged until the medical examinations were complete.
Muhammed Rizalman’s wife and three children are being housed at a military apartment near the hospital and visit him daily.
A source in Kuala Lumpur told the Herald that Muhammed Rizalman has asked to remain in the Malaysian capital until after Hari Raya.
However, it is understood that the request will not be entertained with a Malaysian foreign affairs official saying the diplomatic corps warrant officer will be sent back “as soon as possible”.
July 4, 2014 MYT 10:06:28 PM
Hisham: Right decision to hand over alleged accused in sexual assault case to New Zealand
BATU PAHAT: The Defence Ministry backs the decision made by the Foreign Ministry to send back Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand to assist in investigations.
According to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman made the right decision to hand over WO2 Rizalman – who has been accused of sexual assault and burglary while serving at the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington – to New Zealand.
“We are not covering the case as alleged by certain parties including the Opposition leaders, and we are indeed transparent in handling the issue,” he said on Friday.
Hishammuddin said this at a press conference after breaking fast with Batu Pahat Umno members, adding that justice must be given to the accused and the victim.
He said that justice must be done and seen to be done to ensure Malaysia’s credibility was being upheld at the international level.
HE WANTS TO DELAY RETURN TO NEW ZEALAND TILL HE HAS CELEBRATED RAYA.
However, the Malaysian Government said Rizalman was expected to return “within a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.
The New Zealand Herald
Sex-case diplomat asks for delay
The Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail facing charges for sexual assault wants his return to New Zealand to be deferred until after Ramadan.
A source in Kuala Lumpur has told the Herald Rizalman has asked to remain in the Malaysian capital until after Hari Raya, which falls on July 28 and marks the end of the Islamic fasting month.
However, it is understood the request will not be entertained with a Malaysian foreign affairs official saying the diplomatic corps warrant officer will be sent back “as soon as possible”.
A doctor at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital, where Rizalman is being held for tests on his mental and emotional condition, said he would not be discharged until the medical examinations were complete.
“We are still waiting for the reports to the tests and then the doctors still need to write their report,” the doctor said.
“It would take more than a couple of days, so it’s highly unlikely Rizalman will go before the weekend.”
The Herald understands the diplomat has a history of depression.
Why the Government, the Opposition and the Media may help Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail walk
On the weekend when the story broke of the diplomat invoking diplomatic immunity to flee potential charges over a sexual assault I was amazed and concerned as to the tone of the reporting, and the comments made by many as to the alleged incident. Notice I used the word alleged there, I did that on purpose and it’s what many who have spoken publicly have not done, which now may be a genuine defence for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s lawyers.
We have a think in our justice system called Sub Judice where “it is generally considered inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice, which can be an offence in itself, leading to contempt of court proceedings.” This is also linked quite closely to the legal requirement for a court case that all accused are “innocent until proven guilty” but in a more basic way it’s all about not speaking publicly about a case that may influence the jury, and therefore the outcome of that case. It applies only when charges have been brought so I acknowledge this technically isn’t in breach of that convention, but I would argue that there has already been an atmosphere created that may not allow Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail to get a fair hearing. If someone cannot get a fair hearing…they walk.
A quick Google on the subject around the time the news broke shows many headlines that talk in the affirmative of a crime being committed and linking it to the diplomat.
Now this post is in no way a support of the diplomat, or a defence of attacks on women so please don’t see it that way, I am purely looking at how this may, or may not proceed in a legal sense. I am left wondering, due to the environment flamed by John Key, Murray McCully, David Shearer and all in the media who have inadvertently, or blatantly, convicted Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail of committing a crime, have now also given his lawyer the ability to argue that his client cannot get a fair hearing.
And I think he may have a point.
The New Zealand Herald
Diplomat to be arrested at border
A Malaysian diplomat facing charges will be arrested at the border as soon as he arrives in the country and taken to the nearest court, police say.
The Malaysian Government last night confirmed Muhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail would be sent back to New Zealand where there is an active warrant for his arrest relating to sexual assault charges.
In a statement released this afternoon, Wellington district police commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle said police were working closely with Crown Law and MFAT on the legal process and logistical details relating to Ismail’s return.
“This is a unique and complex legal situation so careful planning is required and no date for his return has been set.
“When someone with a warrant to arrest arrives in New Zealand they are met at the border by police, arrested and taken to the nearest court.
“The court can then remand them in custody, release them at large or release them on bail, with or without conditions. At this time the next hearing date is also set.”
THE DIPLOMAT WHO CAME HOME UNDER A BLACK CLOUD WILL BE EXTRADITED!
IF THIS IS TRUE, MALAYSIA HAS REDEEMED ITS REPUTATION SOMEWHAT…
The New Zealand Herald
Sex case diplomat to return to NZ
A disgraced Malaysian diplomat will return to New Zealand to face charges for sexual assault, the Malaysian Government confirmed this evening.
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.
“In this regard, the legal principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty should apply to Mr Muhammad Rizalman.”
It said Ismail would be accompanied by a senior military officer from the Ministry of Defence.
The Malaysian Government would provide legal assistance if necessary.
“Malaysia has complete faith in the New Zealand legal system and has full confidence that Mr Muhammad Rizalman will be given fair treatment with dignity as provided under the law,” the statement said.
6:00PM Jul 2, 2014
Rizalman to be extradited
Malaysian diplomatic attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail will be extradited to New Zealand to be tried over sexual assault and burglary charges.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman confirmed this in a text message to Malaysiakini this evening.
3:58PM Jul 2, 2014
‘What if NZ grills him on security matters?’
A pro-Umno website has claimed that there are security concerns regarding the possible extradition of Muhammad Rizalman Ismail (below) to face trial in New Zealand.
In view of this, MyKMU.net urged New Zealand to respect the Vienna Convention 1961 on the issue of diplomatic immunity.
“What we are worried is that if the diplomatic defence attache is extradited to New Zealand, he may not be questioned on the sexual assault and burglary charges alone.
“There may be efforts to elicit sensitive information regarding national security,” read an article published on the website today.
It added that the armed forces officer’s position in the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand justified these concerns.
“Although he does not hold a high position, it is certain that he is privy to information that can jeopardise the nation if obtained by foreigners,” read the article.
Therefore, the article noted that Rizalman’s case could have more serious implications.
Sean Gordon was outraged that his former neighbour was allowed to leave the country after being accused of such a serious crime.
2:30PM Jul 2, 2014
He was weird, says Kiwi neighbour
As the New Zealand Parliament debates the diplomatic fiasco, the media there is on the hunt for more information about Muhammad Rizalman Ismail.
Stuff.co.nz today quoted the Malaysian diplomatic attache’s former neighbour as describing the military officer as being “weird, a bit quiet, and very strange”.
Sean Gordon, who lives behind Rizalman’s house on Miles Cres in Wellington, said the Malaysian moved into the neighbourhood about a year ago, replacing another Malaysian family.
He admitted that his family did not have a good relationship with Rizalman, compared with the previous occupants.
The neighbour described that everything was normal in the neighbourhood until in May, when Rizalman disappeared while his wife and children remained in the house.
Following that, Gordon said, Rizalman’s wife stopped talking to the neighbours.
Gordon added he was bewildered when a week ago, several cars and a moving truck arrived and the family left.
“Everything had clicked after Rizalman was identified in the media,” he said.
3:59PM Jul 2, 2014
Tale of two governments and a sex case
Two countries – one festering diplomatic bungle and two different responses.
Within two days of the controversy surrounding a Malaysian diplomatic attache accused of burglary and sexual assault in New Zealand breaking out, the contrast between two different Commonwealth governments handling the same issue cannot be more stark.
It appears, at this point, that there have been errors from both the Malaysian and New Zealand governments in handling the matter, which did not blow up in the media until more than a month after the diplomat returned to Malaysia – but that is as far as the similarities go.
The reaction of the two governments on the issue has illustrated what is already reflected in the frustrations of many Malaysians for years – that the Malaysian government is slow to get on its feet when faced with an immediate crisis.
The Kiwi government has been quicker in responding, faster in revealing information, and effective in communicating their stand to the media.
For years now, Malaysians have wished for a similar response attitude from the Malaysian government, which has often gone on the defensive whenever criticism is levelled at it.
Today, the Kiwi parliament is having an urgent debate to discuss the diplomatic bungle, where the government will field questions and criticisms in an effort to answer them and also arrest the fallout due to the controversy.
On the contrary, the Malaysian government adamantly refused to have any urgent debate on the MH370 crisis despite consistent calls from the opposition here.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman gave a version of events that appeared contradictory to the one claimed by New Zealand authorities.
Within hours, the New Zealand government had released official communication documents to illustrate that Malaysia did refuse to waive diplomatic immunity, contrary to Anifah’s (left) claim.
The documents were released under the Official Information Act, while most official communication in Malaysia is still sealed under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Even then, the Malaysian government was not quick to respond to the questions that were surfacing locally.
It was in fact the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully who told the media there that the Malaysian government had acted in “good faith”.
The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry in New Zealand had also issued an apology to its own government, admitting errors in its handling of the diplomat’s immunity before he was allowed to leave for Malaysia.
To date, the Malaysian government has refused to apologise over the MH370 crisis. In fact, apologies are a rare act of accountability in Malaysia.
Rizalman remains a mystery
While New Zealand police also issued a statement today that they would protect the 21-year-old victim of the alleged sexual assault, the Malaysian government is yet to give a clear account on the whereabouts of Rizalman.
Anifah yesterday could not give clear answers as to where Rizalman (right) is, or when would psychiatric tests conducted on him be completed. All we know as of now is that he would be facing the military court here if there is basis to the allegations.
This is despite Rizalman having returned to Malaysia more than a month ago, on May 22 to be precise.
The Defence Ministry, which is investigating Rizalman, has yet to issue any formal statements.
Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein too has not revealed any further details about the process and investigations taking place against Rizalman.
It is time for the government to ramp up its response to issue a clear stand on the matter in order to resolve the current impasse.
And they don’t have to scourge far for an example this time – lessons can be learned from the conduct of the Kiwi government in handling the matter.
The New Zealand Herald
Sex case diplomat ‘hasn’t got away with it’
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has publicly apologised to the victim of an alleged sexual assault by a Malaysian diplomat who was sent home under diplomatic immunity.
But he does not believe it would be appropriate to apologise personally.
“I don’t know who the victim was and I don’t think it is appropriate for me to try and find out,” Mr McCully told the Herald
“I think it is appropriate to express publicly an apology but I don’t think it is going to help her circumstances for me to go seeking her out.”
Mr MCully made his apology in front of the media today.
“I have made it clear that we apologise for a performance that was below the standard that should be expected of the New Zealand Foreign Ministry.
The accused, a warrant officer with the Malaysian defence force, is the subject of a military board of inquiry and may face a court martial.
Mr MCully said “he hasn’t got away with it. There is a process underway and we should have some respect for the process”.
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 2:27:51 PM
PETALING JAYA: New Zealand has apologised to the woman at the centre of an alleged rape by a Malaysian diplomatic official for bungling the high-profile case.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully also apologised to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is investigating how officials sent mixed messages to Malaysia about what actions were acceptable regarding the case.
“The ministry has fallen well short of its obligations to the Government on this occasion and we take this failure very seriously.
“The victim and her family are entitled to a better standard of performance. I think that the communication that was undertaken formally was perfectly appropriate, but it wasn’t supported by unambiguous communication of the standard that I would’ve expected,” he was quoted as saying by Radio New Zealand News on Wednesday.
NO, THERE WON’T BE A DEBATE AT PARLIAMENT IN MALAYSIA!
12:24PM Jul 2, 2014
Kiwi Parliament debates diplomat fiasco
New Zealand’s august house has entered into the matter of a Malaysian diplomat implicated in the sexual assault of a New Zealand women, with its Labour Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer calling for an urgent debate.
Shearer, as reported by TVNZ, has questioned Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully over the ministry’s handling of the issue, stating the victim has been denied justice as the accused has returned to Malaysia.
McCully admitted to the legislature that there were several shortcomings in the case.
“It is something that is not denied by members of this side of the House,” McCully reportedly said.
NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER TAKES A HARD LINE: MALAYSIA WAS OUT OF LINE!
Key said Malaysia should not push the line that there was ambiguity, saying the official correspondence was absolutely clear about what the New Zealand Government wanted.
“When a government issues a third party notice that is a very serious matter. That is saying the New Zealand government is asking the Malaysian Government to waive diplomatic immunity. They formally came back to us and said ‘no’,” Key said.
DOING WHAT IS RIGHT NOT WHAT IS EXPEDITIOUS
The pressure builds in Malaysia
It is not a disciplinary matter, so a court martial isn’t appropriate. It is a criminal offence for which he is to be charged in New Zealand.
NGO Lawyers for Liberty’s executive director Eric Paulsen, “..the alleged crimes were committed in New Zealand and obviously, the most convenient forum to try the crime would be in New Zealand and it would be absurd and extremely burdensome to get all the witnesses and evidence to be brought to Malaysia.”
11:00AM Jul 2, 2014
Show your backbones in ‘sex case’, ministers told
A veteran newsman has called on both Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to prove that they have backbones.
A Kadir Jasin made this call in relation to the case involving a Malaysian diplomatic attache, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in New Zealand.
“Masya-Allah! If the charges in New Zealand are true, then it is a great embarassment. (The accused being) Malay and Muslim on top of that,” he added.
In view of this, Kadir challenged both Anifah and Hishammuddin to take stern action, failing which, they too must be taken to task.
“I challenge the foreign minister and defence minister to take stern action in order to clean the name of the nation,” he wrote in his blog.
“So ministers and generals, show your determination and professionalism. Don’t be weak, soft and apologetic for the wrong reasons,” he added.
9:00AM Jul 2, 2014
‘Sexual assault not part of diplomatic role’
Extending diplomatic immunity to a diplomatic attache accused of sexual assault and burglary sends the signal that such immunity is a license to commit crime.
Saying this in a statement yesterday, NGO Lawyers for Liberty’s executive director Eric Paulsen said that extending such immunity jeopardises Malaysia-New Zealand ties.
“Lawyers for Liberty is shocked and appalled that the Malaysian government has asserted diplomatic immunity to protect Rizalman from what is obviously a serious case of sexual assault and burglary, acts of which are unconnected with his diplomatic role.
He also said that Rizalman, should not just be court-martialed as suggested by the Foreign Ministry as he is not just accused of discipline breach.
“(It) is preposterous as this is not a disciplinary issue but serious criminal offences that have been allegedly perpetrated against a woman.
“Further, the alleged crimes were committed in New Zealand and obviously, the most convenient forum to try the crime would be in New Zealand and it would be absurd and extremely burdensome to get all the witnesses and evidence to be brought to Malaysia,” he said.
FALL OUT IN NEW ZEALAND OVER THE HANDLING OF THE MALAYSIAN DIPLOMAT SCANDAL!
1. The Foreign Affairs Minster apologises to the Prime Minister.
2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) may have given mixed signals to Malaysia so that Malaysia had concluded from the informal talks that New Zealand was happy for the diplomat to return home and be court martialled instead of facing the charges in New Zealand – contrary to Mr Key’s public statement.
3. This development would fuel Opposition speculation that New Zealand had done a deal with Malaysia behind closed doors.
4. Some people (in MFAT) may get the sack.
Misinformation over Malaysian diplomat
AMBIGUITY DISAPPOINTS PM
Prime Minister John Key said he was disappointed about the ambiguity in the communication about the case.
He said there shouldn’t have been any ambiguity at all in the information he received regarding the Malaysian diplomat, who was able to invoke immunity and leave the country despite being accused of attempted rape.
“I’m surprised that an official working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [and Trade] would have that sort of ambiguity,” Key said.
“This is a very serious situation. There’s a New Zealand victim. We would want that person to be tried under the New Zealand system and that’s certainly the impression that we, or certainly the minister, had,” Key said.
Key defended Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, saying he had acted based on the information he had.
He did not believe his McCully should resign. He also defended the actions of MFAT chief executive John Allen, whom he did not believe should resign either.
Key expressed “surprise” that an official working in the protocol division of MFAT had been unclear about what New Zealand wanted.
“If there’s any ambiguity in the mind of that person, I’d be very surprised why that would exist, because I think this is a very serious issue. As I said earlier there’s a New Zealand victim and the expectations of anyone would be that the person would be tried in New Zealand.
“We have great faith in our judicial system. The person would get an absolutely fair trial. I can’t see any logical reason why there would be any sense at all that the person should be allowed to go back to their own country for a process to take place there, when there’s actually every reason it could take place in New Zealand.”
The New Zealand Herald
McCully says sorry to Key over diplomat sex case
Murray McCully, left, and John Key.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has apologised to Prime Minister John Key for not fully informing him about a Malaysian diplomat before Mr Key spoke publicly on the matter.
Mr McCully revealed late last night that Malaysia may have received mixed messages from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) about whether New Zealand wanted the country to waive diplomatic immunity for Muhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail, who is facing sexual assault charges.
The minister told a press conference this morning that the MFAT had fallen short of expectations. He said a “considered process” was underway over the misunderstanding and he could not rule out job losses.
In official talks between New Zealand and Malaysian officials, MFAT clearly stated that it wanted Malaysia to waive immunity for Ismail so he could face the charges in New Zealand.
But MFAT also engaged in a series of unofficial discussions, which led to this stance becoming more “ambiguous” for Malaysian officials.
Malaysia appeared to conclude from the informal talks that New Zealand was happy for the diplomat to return home and be court martialled instead of facing the charges in New Zealand – contrary to Mr Key’s public statement.
Mr McCully said: “I told the Prime Minister that he had not been given all of the information he should have been given. And I have taken responsibility for that and apologised to him.
“The third-person note was clear and unambiguous, but some of the discussions that occurred because of the complexity of the case would have given the Malaysian officials room to draw the conclusions they did.”
WAIT AND SEE IF HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN KEEPS HIS WORD OR HAS TO SWALLOW THEM!
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says that whether Rizalman faces charges in military court in Malaysia or in New Zealand, “justice will prevail”.
“Under my leadership at the Defence Ministry, anyone who is in the wrong will not be above the law. Stern action will be taken without fear or favour.”
IT LOOKS LIKE OUR DIPLOMAT WON’T BE RETURNING TO NEW ZEALAND!
1. McCully said he had emphasised to his Malaysian counterpart New Zealand’s commitment to justice for the victim in this case, and that Anifah had assured him that the Malaysian Government shared the same view.
2. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein later tweeted that a decision on Rizalman’s extradition would be made in the next few days. He gave an assurance that anyone who was in the wrong would not be above the law.
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 7:08:13 AM
We will act justly, KL assures Wellington
PETALING JAYA: Despite an earlier tussle over where he should face charges, diplomatic aide Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who is accused of sexual assault and burglary in New Zealand, is set to be tried in Malaysia.
The Warrant Officer 2 will face a Board of Inquiry set up by the Defence Ministry and if the accusations are found to be true, he will be court-martialled.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully who spoke to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman yesterday, conceded that Malaysia had acted “entirely in good faith”.
There had earlier been totally contradictory statements with New Zealand denying a Malaysian statement that the diplomatic staff member had been allowed to return home. Instead, the New Zealand authorities released correspondence between the two sides.
According to the correspondence, New Zealand had asked Malaysia to waive diplomatic immunity for Rizalman but the Malaysian side had refused to do so.
Instead, Malaysia asked New Zealand to withdraw all charges against him and seal all documentation on the matter.
McCully said yesterday there had been other communication between the two sides which led to Malaysia later recalling the diplomatic staff member. He said the Malaysian Foreign Minister was absolutely committed to the alleged offender facing a proper judicial process.
“The individual concerned is a military person and the Malaysian Chief of Defence Force has established a Board of Inquiry process,” he said, adding that Anifah had also assured him that any material provided by New Zealand Police would be placed before the Board of Inquiry.
Anifah: Diplomat kes seksual kini jalani ujian psikatri
- Published on 01 July 2014 13:49
The Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault is currently undergoing psychiatric tests by the Defence Ministry, where he is attached, and if found guilty, will have action taken against him by the Military Court in Malaysia. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman however was unable to give details as to what kind of punishment would await Muhammad Rizalman Ismail.
NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER GUARANTEES A FAIR TRIAL.
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 16:13
M’SIAN COURTS FAIL TO RAISE CONFIDENCE: NZ g’tees fair trial if diplomat returns to face sex charges
KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault in New Zealand will get a “fair trial” if he returns there to face the criminal charge, the island country’s Prime Minister John Key said today.
Key also stressed that Muhammad Rizalman Ismail’s life would not be in danger if he is tried by the New Zealand courts.
“We don’t have the death penalty in New Zealand and he’ll absolutely get a free and fair trial in New Zealand.
“One thing that we can pride ourselves is having a judicial system that’s completely fair,” Key was quoted saying by New Zealand news agency Dominion Post on the website stuff.co.nz.
In the same report, Key said New Zealand had “sent a very strong message that we didn’t want him sent home”, stressing his administration’s firm stand that it wanted Muhammad Rizalman to face trial there.
Key’s remark today was issued ahead of this afternoon’s press conference on Muhammad Rizalman’s status by Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Earlier today, The Star reported Anifah as confirming yesterday that Malaysia had previously recalled the diplomat but was not “protecting” him, adding that he would be returned to New Zealand provided he is assured of a fair trial and his life is not in danger.
FROM THE NEW ZEALAND SIDE
“Those guys on the other side failed to understand what we were saying…”
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, “While the formal request is absolutely unambiguous in seeking the lifting of immunity, it is now clear to me that officials engaged in informal communications over what is a complex case, in a manner that would have been ambiguous to the Malaysian Government,” he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
1 July 2014 Last updated at 06:44
New Zealand seeks ‘sex assault’ Malaysia diplomat
New Zealand is seeking a Malaysian diplomat charged with sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in Wellington last month.
Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, 38, has since returned to Malaysia with his family, claiming diplomatic immunity.
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters that the accused would be sent to New Zealand “if it is absolutely necessary”.
He added that a defence ministry panel would investigate the matter.
Prime Minister John Key told reporters that New Zealand preferred that diplomatic immunity was waived so that the diplomat could face trial in New Zealand and, if not, called for him to be prosecuted in Malaysia.
In remarks reported by the New Zealand Herald newspaper, he said: “We made it quite clear that we were under no illusion about how seriously New Zealand took the issue, and we expect the person to be held to account.”
6:45PM Jul 1, 2014
Hisham has ‘no problems’ with extradition but…
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he has “no problems” with extraditing diplomat Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to New Zealand to face sexual assault charges if requested.
However, he said the fate of Muhammad Rizalman, who is defence staff assistant at the Wellington consultate, will be known “in the next few days” after talks with Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
“I have no problems with that (extradition), but need to discuss with Wisma Putra,” Hishammuddin said on Twitter.
Hishammuddinalso said that the Malaysian Army board of inquiry is investigating the case as Rizalman is attached to the Defence Ministry.
He said whether Rizalman faces charges in military court in Malaysia or in New Zealand, “justice will prevail”.
“Under my leadership at the Defence Ministry, anyone who is in the wrong will not be above the law. Stern action will be taken without fear or favour,” he said.
IS THIS ANOTHER PROMISE MADE TO BE BROKEN?
Tuesday July 1, 2014 MYT 6:54:39 PM
Malaysia not sweeping NZ sexual assault case ‘under the carpet’
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Government has ensured a transparent investigation into the incident involving a defence staff assistant who was allegedly accused of sexual assault in New Zealand.
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement on Tuesday, the Government said that it is “not sweeping the matter under the carpet”.
It said the Government acknowledged that the incident does not reflect the exemplary conduct and integrity of Malaysians serving abroad.
CAN MALAYSIA RECOVER ITS CREDIBILITY IN THE EYES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY?
IT’S TERRIBLE THAT OUR DIPLOMAT IS CAUGHT UP WITH SUCH AN ACCUSATION BUT WHEN OUR OWN GOVERNMENT LIES ABOUT IT, WHAT FACE HAVE WE GOT LEFT?
“The High Commission of Malaysia would like to also seek the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand and the New Zealand police to kindly consider sealing all documentation pertaining to the above mentioned matter and withdrawing all charges against Muhammad Rizalman Ismail,” reads the May 21 letter, sighted by Malaysiakini.
3:00PM Jul 1, 2014
M’sia refused to waive immunity, NZ rebuts Anifah
The New Zealand government has released documents rebutting Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman hours after he claimed that Wellington had offered to allow a Malaysian diplomat suspected of sexual assault to return home.
One of the documents released is the Malaysian High Commission’s letter to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which shows that the demand for Muhammad Rizalman Ismail to be returned home came from the Malaysian side.
The May 21 dated letter sighted by Malaysiakini was in response to another letter from MFAT, dated May 10, to the Malaysian High Commission requesting that Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity be waived for him to face police action in New Zealand.
“The High Commission of Malaysia has the honour to inform that the Government of Malaysia will not waive the personal immunity granted to Mr Muhammad Rizalman Ismail and has decided that he should be repatriated to Malaysia as soon as possible.
“Should the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand accept this arrangement, the High Commission proposes to send him and his family back home on Thursday, 22nd May 2014, at 1.15pm by MH130,” reads the letter.
The Malaysian side also asked for the charges against Rizalman, for burglary and assault with the intent to rape, be dropped.
“The High Commission of Malaysia would like to also seek the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand and the New Zealand police to kindly consider sealing all documentation pertaining to the above mentioned matter and withdrawing all charges against Mr Muhammad Rizalman Ismail,” the letter states.
The documents were released today, upon a request by Fairfax Media, under New Zealand’s freedom of information law.
LOOK AT THE DOCUMENTS FOR YOURSELF!
News portal stuff.com.nz identified the diplomat as Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who holds the military rank of warrant officer.
WHICH SIDE IS LYING? MALAYSIA OR NEW ZEALAND?
Malaysia: NZ offered our man a chance to return to Malaysia. Thus, Rizalman and his family returned to Malaysia on May 22, with the agreement of the New Zealand authorities. New Zealand had allowed the diplomat to invoke diplomatic immunity and return to Malaysia.
NZ: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to the Malaysian high commission in Wellington asking it to waive diplomatic immunity for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail.
HOWEVER, NZ DOCUMENTS show that the high commission refused to waive immunity and sought to seal the police file on the case.
NZ and Malaysia offer differing views on diplomat’s treatment
SHANE COWLISHAW, HAMISH RUTHERFORD AND VERNON SMALL
The Government has released documents which say Malaysia refused to waive diplomatic privilege in the case of a diplomat accused of a sexual assault in Wellington.
The Malaysian government also sought to have the man’s police file sealed and all charges withdrawn.
This appears to be at odds with statements reported to have been made by Malaysia’s foreign minister today.
Earlier, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said New Zealand allowed the diplomat to invoke diplomatic immunity and return to Malaysia.
The NZ documents, obtained by Fairfax Media under the Official Information Act, show the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to the Malaysian high commission in Wellington asking it to waive diplomatic immunity for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail.
The documents also show that the high commission refused to waive immunity and sought to seal the police file on the case.
The high commission also informed the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it had “decided that he should be repatriated to Malaysia as soon as possible”.
Anifah said at a press conference today that New Zealand authorities offered Rizalman the “alternative” to go home.
Malaysia was willing to waive the diplomat’s immunity but decided to take up New Zealand’s offer to invoke diplomatic immunity and bring him back home, Anifah said.
The Malaysian High Commissioner had a meeting in Wellington with the deputy chief of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and police officers on May 12 to address the matter.
Malaysia’s foreign ministry was prepared to waive diplomatic immunity to enable prosecution under New Zealand law to proceed, Anifah said.
During the discussion on May 12, “the New Zealand side had offered an alternative for the accused to be brought back to Malaysia.”
Rizalman and his family returned to Malaysia on May 22, with the agreement of the New Zealand authorities, Anifah said.
PUTRAJAYA:The alleged Malaysian diplomat who committed several offences including sexual assault on a New Zealander woman would be investigated thoroughly under a Board of Inquiry.
Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the alleged staff, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail was a Second Warrant Officer from the Defense Ministry attached to the Malaysia High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand.
He said the former Defense Staff Assistant was being investigated and may be tried a martial court and if found guilty, stern action could be taken under the Armed Forces Act 1972.
New Zealand media had earlier named the Malaysian diplomat after they challenged a court decision to grant name suppression.
An urgent hearing to overturn the suppression ruling was held in the High Court at Wellington today, where the name suppression was overturned.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully earlier said the Solicitor-General had advised the Government abide by the suppression ruling while it was in place.
“I can’t see any good public policy reason why you’d want to protect someone from publicity given there won’t be a trial.”
1 JULY 2014
YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA
Wisma Putra says ‘will consider’ sending back envoy implicated in NZ sex assault
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (centre) says Wisma Putra has no qualms sending Muhammad Rizalman Ismail back to face charges for burglary and sexual assault in New Zealand if the situation warrants it. — Picture by Choo Choy May
PUTRAJAYA, July 1 ― Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said today Malaysia is willing to extradite its former envoy to New Zealand accused of assaulting a 21-year-old woman there back to the country if the situation warrants it.
The minister said Wisma Putra has no qualms sending Muhammad Rizalman Ismail back to face charges for burglary and sexual assault in New Zealand, “if we think it is best to do so”.
“When New Zealand sends a request as they think investigations are not done properly (in Malaysia), we will consider it,” he said at a press conference here
Sex attack accused Malaysian diplomat named
SHANE COWLISHAW, HAMISH RUTHERFORD AND VERNON SMALL
NZ ASSURES MALAYSIA A FAIR TRIAL
Earlier today reports in the Malaysian news media said Ismail’s foreign minister said he could be returned if he was promised a fair trial and his life was not in danger.
Prime Minister John Key said before the suppression hearing that he wanted Ismail tried here.
“We sent a very strong message that we didn’t want him sent home.”
Key said Ismail would get a fair trial in New Zealand and his life would not be in danger.
“We don’t have the death penalty in New Zealand and he’ll absolutely get a free and fair trial in New Zealand. One thing that we can pride ourselves in is having a judicial system that’s completely fair.”
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said he had seen the media reports. His officials in the Malaysia’s capital were “making inquiries” in an attempt to clarify the situation.
McCully said having Ismail returned would require a process but “I’m sure that would be one course that would be followed up by the authorities”.
It was possible that the man could be extradited to New Zealand; however this would require Malaysia to effectively reverse its previous position that it wanted the man to invoke diplomatic immunity. It would be a matter for other authorities to act on this possibility once the situation was clarified, McCully said.
“These are things that are not decided by Ministers but by prosecutorial authorities, so this matter would be a matter for them to consider and I’m sure they’d be watching this quite closely.”
Earlier today McCully warned that if the diplomat did not face the charges, it would affect relations between the two countries.
11:46AM Jul 1, 2014
NZ media names M’sian diplomat implicated in sex offence
The New Zealand media has named the Malaysian diplomat accused of a sex offence after the high court there lifted a suppression order regarding his identity.
News portal stuff.com.nz identified the diplomat as Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who holds the military rank of warrant officer.
According to the report, he was a staff assistant with a defence portfolio at the Malaysian High Commission.
The news portal said Robert Stewart, lawyer for Fairfax Media, which appealed for the suppression to be lifted, said Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry was due to make a statement on the matter today.
Therefore, he said the New Zealand media would be in an invidious position if it could not name a man who could be named overseas.
Rizalman, aged in his 30s, was not represented at the hearing but lawyer Barbara Hunt has been appointed by the court to assist if necessary.
Rizalman first appeared in the district court on May 10 where two justices of the peace granted the suppression. A court registrar continued the suppression on May 15 when police said issues of diplomatic immunity were being looked into.
The case was before District Court judge Bruce Davidson on May 30 when the order was continued.
Tuesday July 1, 2014 MYT 12:33:30 PM
NZ judge allows naming of Malaysian diplomat in sex assault case
PETALING JAYA: A Wellington High Court judge has lifted the suppression order on a Malaysian accused of sex assault.
The diplomat is a staff assistant with a defence portfolio at the Malaysian High Commission, New Zealand media reported Tuesday.
Wisma Putra is scheduled to hold a press conference shortly on the matter.
It was reported Monday that the Malaysian diplomat, who is said to have sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home in Wellington, was recalled, but New Zealand is demanding that he be sent back to face charges there.
The incident has created a public outcry in New Zealand, with Prime Minister John Key saying his “preference” was for the diplomat, said to be in his 30s, to be tried under New Zealand law.
Her Excellency Mrs. Rosmidah Zahid
Mr. James Koh
Counsellor (Political & Economic) / Head of Chancery
Lt. Col. Shaari Baba
Defence Advisor (DA)
Mr. Mohd Erfino Johari
Counsellor / Director, Education Malaysia New Zealand (EMNZ)
Mrs. Noor Azlin Adnan
First Secretary (Education & Training) – Public Service Dept. (PSD / JPA)
Mrs. Suraya Sari Abd Aziz
Education Attache, Education Malaysia New Zealand (EMNZ)
Mr. Lukman Sayuti
Second Secretary (Administration/Finance/Consular)
Mrs. Jamilah Mohd
Personal Assistant to the High Commissioner
WO II Muhammad Rizalman Ismail
Staff Assistant (Defence)
Mrs. Nora Ismail
Personal Assistant (PSD/JPA)
1 JULY 2014
YAHOO! NEWS MALAYSIA
NZ daily calls for rethink of diplomatic immunity following sex assault case
A New Zealand daily is calling for a revision of procedures governing diplomatic immunity in light of a Malaysian diplomat who fled the country after being implicated in a sexual assault case in Wellington.
Calling diplomatic immunity a “necessary evil”, the New Zealand (NZ) Herald in an editorial said while the convention existed for the safety of diplomats, it ought not to shield the country he represented from the shame his actions had brought upon it.
Wisma Putra today confirmed that a Malaysian diplomat is a suspect in a New Zealand sex assault case, saying he will stand trial if there is assurance of justice.
Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said yesterday that the accused was a Malaysian diplomat and that he had been recalled.
Anifah was also quoted as saying that Wisma Putra was not “protecting” him and he had asked that police investigations in New Zealand be allowed to continue in the interest of justice.
The editorial stated that the fact the suspect was stationed at a high commission rather than an embassy suggests he represents a country of the Commonwealth, which makes it all the more disappointing that it did not submit him to New Zealand justice.
Commonwealth countries share a British common law inheritance, though perhaps not all treat intended rape as seriously as New Zealand does.
Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman, David Shearer, urged the government to make sure the case was not swept under that country’s carpet.
If it is, the best New Zealand can do is ensure that the fellow will be arrested should he ever return to this country without diplomatic immunity.
IS NEW ZEALAND LIKE SOME THIRD WORLD COUNTRY WHERE THEY LYNCH A SUSPECT OR BEAT THEM UP IN THE POLICE LOCK-UP?
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the diplomat would be returned to Wellington only if he was assured of a fair trial and that his life was not in danger there.
Contacted by The Star yesterday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman confirmed that the accused was a Malaysian diplomat and that he had been recalled.
Stressing that Wisma Putra was not “protecting” him, Anifah said he had asked that police investigations in New Zealand be allowed to continue in the interest of justice.
Asked why the diplomat had been recalled, the minister said there could have been a misinterpretation of an email sent to Wisma Putra by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Tuesday July 1, 2014 MYT 8:39:20 AM
Outcry erupts as Wellington wants diplomat tried under its laws
KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian diplomat who is said to have sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home in Wellington has been recalled, but New Zealand is demanding that he be sent back to face charges there.
The incident has created a public outcry in New Zealand, with Prime Minister John Key saying his “preference” was for the diplomat, said to be in his 30s, to be tried under NZ law.
The diplomat apparently followed the young woman back to her home in Brooklyn on the night of May 9 and is alleged to have assaulted her with the intent to rape.
Some reports have also linked him to burglary.
Each of the offences carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Added: 2:14PM Monday June 30, 2014
Source: ONE News
THE MALAYSIAN HIGH COMMISSION IS IN BROOKLYN, WHERE THE MAN (IN HIS 30’s) WAS ARRESTED.
10 Washington Avenue
P.O Box 9422 Wellington
YAHOO! NEWS ZEALAND
Police on Sunday confirmed they arrested a man in his 30s in Brooklyn on May 9 and charged him with burglary and assault with intent to rape, after he followed a 21-year-old woman home.
However, the man – whose identity has been suppressed – has since left New Zealand after his home country declined a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to waive diplomatic immunity.
New Zealand’s courts sometimes suppress the details of those accused of sexual crimes in order to protect the identity of any victims. Court officials were not immediately able on Monday to provide reasons for the suppression order in this case.
The press in New Zealand is prevented from revealing the offender’s name or country of origin after a New Zealand judge issued a suppression order on his details.
However, Malaysiakini understands the accused is a Malaysian diplomat who worked at the Malaysian High Commission based in Wellington.
7:00PM Jun 30, 2014
M’sian diplomat in NZ sexual assault case
Wisma Putra says it will address tomorrow a brewing storm surrounding a Malaysian diplomat who is accused by New Zealand authorities of assault with intention to commit rape.
New Zealanders responded with outrage yesterday after the authorities revealed that the man, in his 30s, had followed a 21-year-old woman home and assaulted her.
The press in New Zealand is prevented from revealing the offender’s name or country of origin after a New Zealand judge issued a suppression order on his details.
According to the Associated Press, police arrested the diplomat on May 9 and charged him with burglary and assault with intent to rape, both of which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.
However, the man invoked his diplomatic immunity and has fled the country.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key broke his silence on the matter this morning, revealing that his government had demanded the man’s diplomatic immunity be waived but was rebuffed.
“I’m led to believe, and I strongly accept that advice, that the host country is absolutely aware at a very senior level about New Zealand’s expectations and how seriously we’re taking the issue,” he is quoted as saying.
Labour foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer, who represents New Zealand’s largest opposition party, called for the diplomat’s extradition to face the law in New Zealand.
PM wants diplomatic immunity waived
HAMISH RUTHERFORD, STACEY KIRK AND LIAM HYSLOP
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.
The Government had tested the suppression order and concluded it would be breached if the country the diplomat was from was named, he said.
“It was the Government’s strong preference that this person be held to account in New Zealand, but this was refused by the sending country,” Key said.
“As a signatory to the Vienna Convention our hands are effectively tied, but we still expect justice for the victim. We have been assured this individual will be held to account in his own country.”
The relevant head of mission would be called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) so New Zealand’s feelings on the issue could be made clear.
This is a lower-level sanction than being called in to face the foreign minister and as the name of the country involved is suppressed, there will be little diplomatic embarrassment.