Malaysian diplomat to go back to NZ to face trial

Malaysian diplomat to go back to NZ to face trial
Muhammad Rizalman Ismail.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is confident that its former second warrant officer in Wellington, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, will be accorded a fair trial in New Zealand.

Rizalman, who is accused of burglary and assault with intent to rape Tania Billingsley at her home on May 9, will be leaving here tonight to face the charges in Wellington.

Two New Zealand policemen and two Malaysian armed forces personnel would accompany him, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Rizalman, a former defence staff assistant at the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington, will face the charges filed against him.

This follows an official request for extradition by the New Zealand Government on Oct 3, said the ministry in a statement here yesterday.

The ministry said Rizalman's return to New Zealand was testimony of the close cooperation of the various government agencies in the two countries and in keeping with the rule of law of both sides.

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry of New Zealand had said the two countries had agreed to commit to the complex legal process although Malaysia has no formal extradition treaty with the country.

Minister Murray McCully had said the matter was now in the hands of the judicial systems of both countries.

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