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    Jul 03, 2014

    Malaysia to return envoy wanted in NZ


    MALAYSIA said yesterday it would send an envoy back to New Zealand to face an attempted rape charge as a diplomatic storm erupted over the case.

    It had earlier asked Wellington to drop the case against defence staff assistant Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, promising he would never return to the country, according to documents released.

    Muhammad Rizalman appeared in a New Zealand court on May 10 accused of stalking a 21-year-old woman the previous night and attacking her at her home in the same Wellington suburb where Malaysia's High Commission is located.

    Police charged him with burglary and assault with intent to commit rape - offences that carry jail terms of up to 10 years - but he escaped prosecution after invoking diplomatic immunity and returning to his homeland.

    But in an about-turn, Malaysia's foreign ministry said that Muhammad Rizalman would return to New Zealand "to assist in the investigation of the charges".