Malaysian envoy's return to New Zealand may be delayed

Mr Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who was allowed to leave New Zealand after an alleged sexual assault in May 2014, will return to the country to face charges. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Mr Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who was allowed to leave New Zealand after an alleged sexual assault in May 2014, will return to the country to face charges. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The wanted Malaysian Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail may not be well enough to travel to New Zealand on Monday to face a sex charge.

News daily New Zealand Herald reported on Sunday that his doctors, who are treating him at Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital, had warned that he may not be fit to travel.

Quoting a source from the hospital, the report said that the 38-year-old diplomatic staff was "not looking good" and might need further tests.

According to the hospital staff in the report, Muhammad Rizalman seemed withdrawn and depressed.

A senior doctor also confirmed that he might need further psychiatric evaluation.

Muhammad Rizalman, a defence staff assistant with the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home in Wellington.

He reportedly followed the young woman back to her home in Brooklyn on the night of May 9 and is alleged to have assaulted her with the intent to rape.

He and his family returned to Malaysia on May 22, after the Malaysian High Commission reportedly turned down the request by New Zealand's Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and Trade to seek a waiver of his diplomatic immunity in order for him to face charges in New Zealand.

However on July 2, Malaysia decided to extradite him to New Zealand to "assist in the investigation" and expected to travel on Monday.