John Key confident diplomat will return

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 15:45 08/07/2014
John Key
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
PRIME MINISTER: John Key.

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Prime Minister John Key does not have an update on when Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman will be returned to face sexual assault and burglary charges.

Key told reporters today that indications from Malaysian authorities were that they would comply with New Zealand's wishes and intended to send him back, and he did not believe they were "playing games".

"The Malaysian foreign minister [Datuk Seri Anifah Aman] would never have agreed to returning him to New Zealand unless they genuine in doing so," Key said.

The New Straits Times newspaper has reported from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur that Rizalman was expected to be under psychiatric observation for a while longer.

The newspaper said it had visited the hospital and glimpsed Rizalman.

He appeared dazed and those assigned to care for him said he had not been talking much and had been sleeping a lot.

He was closely guarded by army security in an area with closed-circuit television.

Reporters were told a gag order had been issued to everyone at the hospital.

Rizalman, who was a defence staff assistant at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, was arrested on May 10 following the alleged attack in the victim's home in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn.

He left New Zealand without facing trial after Malaysia invoked diplomatic immunity - apparently i the belief that it did so with the blessing of the New Zealand Government.

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