Prime Minister John Key says the Government wanted a
diplomat accused of sexual assault to face charges in New
Mr Key said the case, in which the diplomat invoked immunity,
had been discussed at a ministerial level.
The diplomat, aged in his 30s and employed at a high
commission in Wellington, faced charges of burglary and
assault with intent to rape after following a 21-year-old
woman to her home last month.
Diplomats cannot be arrested or detained in foreign countries
and the man's home country refused to waive diplomatic
Mr Key said the Government "expressed [its] view" that the
man should have faced the charges in New Zealand.
"But it is, as you know, up to the home country to decide
whether they invoke diplomatic immunity or not."
Police began criminal proceedings against the man last month
and notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Mfat asked his host country to waive immunity, but its
government refused and pulled him from his posting in
The ministry sent a diplomatic note to his home country to
say it wanted the man to face the sexual assault charges
Mr Key said he understood an investigation was under way in
the diplomat's country.
"It's an ongoing process here at the moment, there's a
suppression order so I can't go into too much detail.
"But my understanding is that the home country is looking at
the case and charges might follow there."
The police file remained alive and if the diplomat returned
to New Zealand in a non-diplomatic position he could be
Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, David Shearer, said
Foreign Minister Murray McCully needed to ensure the matter
was not "swept under the carpet and forgotten about".
Mr Shearer said extradition of the diplomat to face charges
in New Zealand should be considered.
He also questioned the name suppression for the diplomat and
"The Vienna Convention that provides diplomatic immunity is
an ancient agreement, one that New Zealand takes seriously
and upholds. 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
- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald