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Diplomatic immunity should not mean do nothing

Diplomatic immunity should not mean do nothing

“Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully needs to follow up with the country whose diplomat has invoked diplomatic immunity and left New Zealand to avoid facing sexual assault charges,” Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.

“New Zealanders need to know that this matter will not simply be swept under the carpet and forgotten about it.

“The alleged victim in the case deserves more than that.

“Our government should be demanding from the country concerned that it investigates the charge properly. That may include New Zealand police providing the evidence collected to enable a criminal prosecution.

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

“The New Zealand government also needs to explain why name suppression for the diplomat and the country concerned was given and whether it had requested that diplomatic immunity be waived in this case.

“The Vienna Convention that provides diplomatic immunity is an ancient agreement, one that New Zealand takes seriously and upholds. It protects our diplomatic personnel serving overseas, no matter where they are located.

“Nevertheless, we also expect justice to be done and the rights of any victim to be respected and not simply forgotten,” said David Shearer.


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