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Wisma Putra In Talks With NZ Officials On Rizalman’s Transfer

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PETALING JAYA: The Foreign Ministry is working with the New Zealand government on the transfer of Second Warrant Officer Muhammad Rizalman Ismail.

“The process to extradite Rizalman is being undertaken in the spirit of close cooperation within the existing legal parameters in Malaysia and New Zealand, taking into consideration that no extradition treaty exists between the two countries.

“Malaysia and New Zealand are committed to upholding just practices and rule of law in ensuring that Rizalman receives a fair trial for the charges he face,” the ministry said in a statement, Friday.

The former defence staff assistant at the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington was accused of burglary and assault with intent to rape of Tania Billingsley, 21, at her Wellington home on May 9.

He flew back to Malaysia on May 22 despite facing trial in New Zealand.

Rizalman was discharged from psychiatric evaluation at the Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital here at the end of July.

A New Zealand portal reported Friday that the country had filed a formal request for Rizalman to return to face charges.

A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) spokesperson is reported to have confirmed that the request had been authorised and signed by acting Justice Minister Chris Finlayson and sent to Malaysian authorities.

According to New Zealand authorities, an inquiry will be conducted on the handling of the case, after apparent ambiguity left the impression that New Zealand approved of Rizalman’s departure to Malaysia.-The Star

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