NZ Govt powerless on diplomat sex attack

There’s nothing the New Zealand government can do to prosecute a man who used diplomatic immunity to avoid facing a charge he tried to rape a Wellington woman.

 
 

Police on Sunday confirmed they arrested a man in his 30s in Brooklyn on May 9 and charged him with burglary and assault with intent to rape, after he followed a 21-year-old woman home.

However, the man – whose identity has been suppressed – has since left New Zealand after his home country declined a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to waive diplomatic immunity.

Under the Vienna Convention, diplomats are entitled to immunity from arrest and detention.

Prime Minister John Key said the matter is now in the hands of the home country.

“My understanding is that the home country is looking at the case and about whether charges might follow there,” he told reporters.

Police said the charges remain active and the court had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer says New Zealanders deserve justice even in cases of diplomatic immunity.

Mr Shearer said the government should demand the home country investigate the charges properly.

“The diplomat’s extradition back to New Zealand to face charges should be pushed as an option.”

 
 

 
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