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NZ expects diplomat to face justice

Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs
30 June 2014 Media Statement
NZ expects diplomat to face justice

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he expects the diplomat accused of an attack on a young woman to face the consequences of his actions in his home country. This follows his Government declining New Zealand’s request for a waiver of diplomatic immunity.

The man’s identity is currently subject to a Court Suppression Order and Crown Law advice is that naming the individual or other identifying features, such as country he represented, would breach that order.

“The New Zealand Government took all appropriate steps to have the foreign diplomat accused of the attack face trial in New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand expects all diplomats in our country to abide by our laws and we make this very clear to all foreign missions operating in New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

“On this occasion a foreign diplomat has been accused of a very serious crime. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade formally requested that his right to diplomatic immunity be waived.

“This request was declined and the individual returned to his home country where an investigation is being carried out by the relevant authorities.

“We have seen nothing to suggest the matter is being swept under the carpet. The Ministry is monitoring this investigation closely and will continue to watch developments and consider what further steps are required.

“I have asked the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to call in the relevant Head of Mission to convey directly the New Zealand Government’s interest in the actions taken by their authorities.

“The privileges and immunities granted to diplomats under the Vienna Convention are meant to ensure that diplomatic personnel are able to perform their duties with freedom, independence and security, however, they are still under a duty to respect their host country’s laws

“In all cases where a diplomat is accused of a serious offence we will seek a waiver of immunity so they can stand trial in New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

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