McCully should stand down - Greens

Last updated 11:33 10/07/2014

Key 'bored and insincere'

Tania Billingsley
3rd Degree/ TV3
SPEAKING OUT: Tania Billingsley waived her right to name suppression.

Diplomat's alleged victim speaks

Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail
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UNDERGOING PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT: Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail

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The Green Party has joined a call for Foreign Affairs minister Murray McCully to stand down after a diplomat was charged in relation to an attack on a Wellington woman.

Tania Rose Billingsley was allegedly assaulted by Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail in her home in Brooklyn, Wellington.

Rizalman was arrested on May 10 on charges of burglary and assault with intent to commit rape.

The diplomat left the country on May 22, under diplomatic immunity.

Billingsley, speaking on TV3's 3rd Degree last night after she waived her automatic right to name suppression, said she was angry her alleged attacker was allowed to leave.

She called for McCully to resign, and also criticised Prime Minister John Key.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was conducting an internal review into the actions of officials which led to confusion over whether Rizalman should have stayed in the country.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the review should be conducted externally and McCully should step aside while it was being investigated.

"Our position is that the review of MFAT's handling of this case should be expanded to include ministers' actions, and inactions, and that Minister McCully should stand down while this review is going on.

"New Zealand needs those in power to take leadership on the issue of sexual and domestic violence," she said.

Green MP Jan Logie, the party's spokeswoman on women, had been acting as Billingsley's advocate while she still had name suppression.

McCully was in South Korea and was unable to be reached, but in a statement said he did not want to jeopardise any investigation.

"I have publicly apologised to the young woman whose distress has been aggravated by the poor management of this case. The terms for a full inquiry into the matter are being finalised. I do not wish to compromise either the inquiry or any criminal proceedings by commenting further."

The same day as Rizalman left the country the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a formal request that he, an assistant to the defence attache for the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, waive diplomatic immunity to face charges.

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Malaysia has said that at a meeting with Mfat representatives an alternative was offered for the accused to return to Malaysia.

Rizalman left a day after Malaysia declined the official request to waive immunity - asking for the police case to be sealed.

He was expected to return to New Zealand to potentially face trial. He has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation in a military hospital near Kuala Lumpur.

The process to facilitate Rizalman's return to New Zealand was continuing with the support of Mfat, police said.

- Stuff

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