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Ministerial Inquiry into diplomatic immunity

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

11 July 2014

Ministerial Inquiry into diplomatic immunity

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced a Ministerial Inquiry will be held into the way the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handled the case of a Malaysian High Commission official accused of an attack on a Wellington woman.

“A thorough and transparent Inquiry is important, as those managing diplomatic immunity issues for the government need to enjoy the full, unfettered confidence of the New Zealand public,” Mr McCully says.

The Inquiry will focus on the following areas:
• the appropriateness and robustness of procedures to deal with circumstances in which a waiver of diplomatic immunity is sought by the New Zealand Government, and;
• the events that took place in the Malaysian diplomat case and the management of the request for a waiver of diplomatic immunity.

“Former Treasury Secretary John Whitehead will lead the Inquiry and his findings will be released publically.

“The Inquiry report will recommend ways to rectify shortcomings and strengthen processes for the future management of diplomatic immunity cases.

“These events have had a serious impact on a young woman and have quite rightly undermined public confidence in the ability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is important that we do all we can to improve the management of these cases.

“The Malaysian Government has placed its confidence in the integrity of our judicial system and it is important that we protect it. I do not wish to compromise either the inquiry or any criminal proceedings by commenting further,” Mr McCully says.

Full Terms of Reference: Ministerial Inquiry into events surrounding the request for a waiver of the diplomatic immunity of a Malaysian diplomat.

ENDS

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