Guilt doesn’t mean Govt off hook

A guilty plea from a Malaysian diplomat charged with indecent assault can’t be used by the Government as an excuse to wash its hands of the affair, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.

“While Malaysian diplomat Muhammad Rizalman might have pleaded guilty to indecent assault, the Government still has some serious explaining to do.

“Why, for instance, were the Malaysian authorities told by our Government that it was okay to plead diplomatic immunity and take Rizalman home?

“And why have Murray McCully and MFAT persisted in concealing all information on this case?

“An independent review of how it was handled was announced more than a year ago, yet findings have still not been released.   

“Information has been kept from Opposition MPs, media and even the Ombudsman.

“The guilty plea will obviously mean a great deal to Tania Billingsley. The facts show she went through a pretty harrowing experience.

“She has been incredibly courageous throughout this debacle. At the very least she should get the answers she deserves,” David Shearer says.