16 Dec 2014

One email behind diplomat bungle - McCully

6:20 pm on 16 December 2014

A single email is at the heart of an inquiry into the Malaysian diplomat botch-up, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says.

Muhammad Rizalman appearing at the Wellington District Court

Muhammad Rizalman Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

After being charged with burglary and assault with intent to rape a woman in Wellington in May this year, defence attaché Muhammad Rizalman was allowed to leave the country despite the Malaysian government being prepared to waive his immunity.

Mr McCully said he today he had received the inquiry's final report and it says a single email led to events surrounding the debacle.

The minister said a number of procedural shortcomings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also gave the Malaysian government the wrong impression about New Zealand's long-standing policy on diplomatic immunity.

Mr McCully would not release the report publicly until after Mr Rizalman's trial next year, he said.

The former diplomat is currently on bail after returning to New Zealand in October following extradition proceedings.

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