PETALING JAYA: New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully (pic) has called for the name of a Malaysian diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old New Zealand woman to be made public, the New Zealand Herald reported.
"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 (in New Zealand),” he said Tuesday.
New Zealand news organisations are currently working together to overturn the suppression order. The New Zealand government, however, will not join them.
The Malaysian High Commission staff, in his thirties, was alleged to have followed the victim to her home in Wellington on May 9 and assaulted her with the intent to rape.
He is also suspected of having robbed the victim.
A New Zealand judge has allowed the name and country of the accused to be withheld on the grounds of diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Agreement.
The accused has since been recalled from New Zealand.
It was confirmed on Monday by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman that the accused was a Malaysian envoy.
The Herald reported that the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry has formerly requested for a waiver of diplomatic immunity, but the appeal was declined by Malaysia.
Anifah added that the diplomat would be returned to New Zealand if he was assured a fair trial and that his life was not in danger there.
A question remains on whether the accused can be charged in Malaysia, and if yes, whether the Malaysian government plans to pursue the case.
A difference of criminal laws in New Zealand and Malaysia add to further complications.
A press conference by Anifah concerning the matter is scheduled at Wisma Putra on noon Tuesday.
The case has garnered strong public interest in New Zealand with even Prime Minister John Key expressing preference for the accused to be tried under New Zeland law.
Investigations in New Zealand are ongoing.