Ex-Malaysian diplomat sentenced for indecent assault

Wellington, Feb 4 (IANS) A New Zealand court on Thursday sentenced a former Malaysian diplomat who indecently assaulted a woman at her Wellington home in May 2014.

Muhammad Rizalman, 39, who was Malaysian defence attache in Wellington when the attack occurred in May 2014, admitted to the charge in the High Court in Wellington in December 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rizalman would serve a nine-month home detention sentence in New Zealand.

The presiding judge said Rizalman had terrified his victim and had shown a startling lack of remorse.

Rizalman’s lawyer said his client was in an altered mental state at the time of the incident, caused by work stress, possible depression and potential use of drugs.

The case became an international incident after Rizalman was allowed to claim diplomatic immunity and return home in the wake of the offense.

The revelations and ensuing scandal forced the New Zealand government to make an embarrassing request for Rizalman’s extradition, which occurred in October 2014.

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