Diplomat flees after alleged sex attack
Key says Govt urged charges
Prime Minister John Key has confirmed a foreign diplomat escaped prosecution on a serious charge after invoking diplomatic immunity.
Key said yesterday that he was limited in what he could say because of a name suppression order but confirmed the Government had urged the diplomat’s home country to let him face charges in New Zealand. But the plea fell on deaf ears.
‘‘The country invoked diplomatic immunity; the person has gone back to their home country. My understanding is that there is an investigation being undertaken in their home country.’’
It has been reported that police had enough evidence to charge the Wellington-based diplomat with sexual assault and burglary after he followed a 21-year-old woman home.
Labour foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer said the public needed to be reassured that the matter would not be ‘‘swept under the carpet and forgotten about’’.
‘‘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
‘‘The alleged victim in the case deserves more than that.’’ David Shearer Labour spokesman
New Zealand police providing the evidence collected to enable a criminal prosecution.’’
The diplomat’s extradition back to New Zealand to face charges should also be pursued 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 was an ancient agreement and one that New Zealand took seriously, Shearer said.
‘‘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.’’
Key said the Government made its views clear to the country concerned that the person should have faced charges in New Zealand.
‘‘But it is as you know up to the home country to decide whether they invoke diplomatic immunity or not.’’
However, the Government did not lodge a formal objection and was waiting to see how the case was being handled back in the diplomat’s home country.