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MFAT Officials Could Not Have Acted in Isolation

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

11 July 2014

MFAT Officials Could Not Have Acted in Isolation

The latest information emerging from court documents in the Malaysian diplomat case clearly points to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials not acting in isolation from the government, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“On May 10 Diplomat Rizalman appeared at court, and was granted bail and name suppression. The granting of name suppression could only have occurred with him subjecting himself to New Zealand legal jurisdiction.

“The bail conditions, included surrendering his passport in the Wellington District Court within two days, that is, by May 12. So, why didn’t he surrender his passport?

“Three days later on May 15 ‘at the request of police’ bail conditions were removed which begs the question, who authorised the police to change their stance.

“To suggest that a middling MFAT official authorised a change in police actions does not make sense from either a law enforcement position or MFAT decision.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs was briefed on the May 10, the Prime Minister was briefed on May 12, so the government needs to explain why the passport wasn’t surrendered and why the police changed their position,” Mr Peters says.

ENDS

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