KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – A former Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault in New Zealand was set to return to Wellington on Friday to face charges against him, the Foreign Ministry in Kuala Lumpur said.
Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 38, will be accompanied by two New Zealand policemen and two Malaysian armed forces personnel during his travel to Wellington later in the day, it said.
“Rizalman’s return to New Zealand is a testimony of the close cooperation between the various government agencies of both Malaysia and New Zealand and in keeping with the rule of law of both countries,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Malaysia is confident that Muhammad Rizalman will be accorded a fair trial by the New Zealand court.
The suspect was a former defence staff assistant at the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington when he allegedly assaulted a 21-year-old woman with the intent of raping her after following her home.
He was arrested and charged in Wellington on May 9. He appeared in court on May 10, but was allowed to leave the country due to his status as a diplomat.