1 July, 2014
McCully receives Malaysian assurances
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has tonight spoken to Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah to clarify any misunderstanding relating to the diplomat who was accused of an attack on a woman and the circumstance involving his return home.
“The Malaysian Foreign Minister is absolutely committed to the alleged offender facing a proper judicial process,” Mr McCully says.
“The individual concerned is a military person and the Malaysian Chief of Defence Force has established a Board of Inquiry process. Minister Anifah assured me that any material provided by New Zealand Police will be placed before the Board of Inquiry.
“The Minister made it clear that he would not allow the actions of one individual to tarnish the reputations of all Malaysian diplomats.
“It is clear to me from my conversation with Minister Anifah that his Government’s decision to decline New Zealand’s request for immunity to be lifted was driven by his Chief of Defence’s desire to put in place a robust judicial process to deal with this matter and his officials’ belief that this would be an outcome acceptable to New Zealand.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has this evening provided me with the correspondence between New Zealand and Malaysian officials on this matter. 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.
“Due to the nature of the proceedings that lie ahead, I am unable to be more forthcoming on the matter at this stage. However, I can say that the Malaysian side have acted entirely in good faith.
“I have emphasised to my Malaysian counterpart the New Zealand Government’s commitment to justice for the victim in this case, and my colleague assures me that the Malaysian Government shares this view,” Mr McCully says.