PM not keen on apology

Last updated 19:47 21/07/2014

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Prime Minister John Key won't be personally apologising to an alleged sexual attack victim despite her accusing him of being "bored" and "unconcerned" with her case.

Tania Billingsley was allegedly attacked in her Wellington home by Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail who was then allowed to leave the country after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) issued a formal request for diplomatic immunity to be waived.

Billingsley waived her right to name suppression earlier this month and told TV3's 3rd Degree she believed Key was "bored" by the case. 

Today Key told reporters he wouldn't be personally apologising to Billingsley. 

"I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that," he said.

"As I said at the time I relied on the advice that was given to me by MFAT.

"What's far more important now is that the independent inquiry that's been established, and will be run by John Whitehead, actually gets to the bottom of all of the unanswered questions." 

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully issued a public apology, and MFAT head John Allen apologised to Billingsley in a letter after the case was made public. 

A ministerial inquiry is being held into why the diplomat was allowed to leave the country when he was being investigated for an attempted rape charge. 

Rizalman left on May 22 and was expected to return to New Zealand to face the charges once a mental health assessment was carried out.


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