Woman vents anger at NZ officials

Woman vents anger at NZ officials
Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman gestures as he answers questions from the media at a press conference in Putrajaya on July 1, 2014

PETALING JAYA - The 21-year-old woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a Malaysian defence staff assistant in New Zealand has vented her anger at her country's authorities "for having forgotten her plight".

The woman reportedly told New Zealand MP Jan Logie that she was appalled at the focus of the case, in which she had been referred to as simply "the victim".

"At the moment, she's running on adrenaline and is angry. She's been listening to all of these debates where she's been reduced down to the phrase 'the victim'.

"What she sees is the real issue - the fact that the system didn't listen to her, and has effectively been setting up to deny her justice.

"She gets the connection to that and a lot of other people's experience and she's angry," Logie was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying.

Logie said the young woman opened up to her because she had spoken about sexual violence in Parliament, and had voiced her anger at the focus of the debates.

New Zealand Foreign Ministry chief executive John Allen on Wednesday apologised to the woman "for the turmoil that she has had to suffer".

He even offered to resign over the misunderstanding that ensued but was turned down by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

The accused, Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who served at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington with a defence portfolio, was accused of sexually assaulting the woman at her home on May 9.

He has since returned to Malaysia under diplomatic immunity after burglary and sexual assault charges were brought against him in a New Zealand court on May 10.

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