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McCully Must Come Clean And Fully Explain

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
4 JULY 2014

McCully Must Come Clean And Fully Explain

Foreign Minister Murray McCully should come clean and fully explain the government’s involvement in a Malaysia diplomat’s exit from New Zealand, 12 days after he was charged on several criminal counts, says New Zealand First.

“What the government has said thus far simply does not stack up,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Clearly, far more went on behind the scenes and a number of MFAT officials had to be in the know.

“The facts are the following:

1. The diplomat, Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, was charged in the District Court on 10 May.

2. He had clearly already waived diplomatic immunity.

3. That is why Rizalman got name suppression, i.e. because he had submitted to the New Zealand jurisdiction.

“The real issues are: What then happened that led to Rizalman fleeing the country?

• Minister McCully was briefed on 10 May, the day of the hearing. Who gave that briefing?

• Prime Minister Key was briefed on Monday, 12 May. Who gave that briefing?

“It was in the 12-day period of the Minister knowing, and then the Prime Minister knowing, that an ‘exit strategy for Rizalman’ was concocted.

“Moreover, who gave MFAT officials authority to brief the Minister if it wasn’t Chief Executive John Allen?

“In addition, why were the airport authorities not alerted to the potential of Rizalman fleeing the country when the legal system understood that he was submitting to its jurisdiction.

“There are fundamental questions here that have not been answered and, in the absence of any sound answers, invite the suspicion that the government had knowledge of a cover-up and a tacit agreement that Rizalman could go,” says Mr Peters.


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