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McCully’s incompetence and the ongoing case of the Malaysian diplomat

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, July 31st, 2014 - 17 comments
Categories: john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, national, same old national - Tags: ,

Murray McCully John Key

National may have some problems with its desire that Malaysian Diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail return to New Zealand to face trial.

I had initially thought that Mr Rizalman was going to be ordered to return and would simply comply.  It seems however that it will not be that simple and Malaysia’s extradition laws may need to be used.  If so this is contrary to a previous statement that officials from both countries said the man was not being formally extradited.

John Key confirmed this week that a legal process is involved and is expected to take months, as opposed to weeks or years.  The only thing that I can think he is referring to is formal extradition. This is somewhat different to an earlier statement which suggested that the delay was only because of Mr Rizalman’s mental health.  The Herald previously reported on July 21:

Malaysia agreed to send Rizalman back to New Zealand to face the charges, but his return has been delayed while his mental health was being assessed.

Mr Key said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke to him during the Prime Minister’s holiday in Hawaii, and reassured him the diplomat would be sent back to New Zealand.

As Key should know extradition processes are not simple.  Firstly Malaysia does not appear to have an extradition treaty with New Zealand.  The only countries that it has treaties with are Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and India.  This is not the end of the matter as Malaysia does have an Extradition Act that allows New Zealand to request that Malaysia extradites the diplomat.

I am no expert on Malaysian law but this paper suggests that the requirements are similar to New Zealand law.  Firstly the Minister of Home Affairs has a discretion on whether or not to allow the extradition request.  A warrant for the diplomat’s arrest has to be issued in the country that is applying.  Following Ministerial permission a prima facie case has to then be established to the satisfaction of the Malaysian judicial system.  Following committal the Minister may order that the fugitive be handed over to the requesting country.  There are other restrictions.  Citizens cannot be extradited for some offences of a political character.   The Minister has a wide discretion to refuse to allow an extradition if he thinks it would be unjust or inexpedient to do so for reasons such as the application for extradition was not made in good faith or in the interest of justice or it was made for political reasons or for any other undefined reason.

As you can see there are many hurdles to be navigated.  And the possibility of Judicial Review means that a Minister must be careful to approach the matter with an open mind.

If Key was assured by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during Key’s holiday in Hawaii that the diplomat would be sent back to New Zealand he should be careful about expressing it publicly.  Because such a statement could be used as evidence of predetermination.

And Murray McCully continues to display ineptitude in his handling of the matter.  The Herald reported this morning that he had not read the email concerning the invocation of diplomatic immunity for weeks because he was in New York at the time.  Apparently New York does not have the interweb over there.  As if.

If you wanted evidence of glaring incompetence in the handling of an international matter you need go no further than to consider McCully’s handling of the matter.  And do not be surprised if Mr is not returned soon.

17 comments on “McCully’s incompetence and the ongoing case of the Malaysian diplomat”

  1. Treetop 1

    The government will use the election as an excuse saying that they do not want to start the process and not finish it. Just because the case involves a diplomat this is no excuse.

    The government has dropped the ball. When it comes to their attitude on sexual violence I give them a fail. Cabinet refused to compensate those who were sexually offended against by the police, this shows me that officials do not have to be held to account. Exemplary damages are given as recognition of harm being caused to an individual because of how the complaint was mismanaged.

  2. dialey 2

    His mental health assessment will reveal that he is not well enough to face a trial. This is nothing more than diplomatic spin to make it look as though something is happening and saving face on both side whereas in fact it is only about protecting trade relationships.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I wondered if this would be an issue. If so it really makes you wonder why Key said what he did. It seems that his promises may amount to nothing, in fact he could be accused of saying fibs.

  3. Chooky 3

    Really Murray McCully should Not be Minister of Foreign Affairs…He is totally incompetent!

    ‘A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York’

    By Martyn Bradbury / July 31, 2014

    “So Muzza couldn’t respond to this issue for weeks because he couldn’t check his email in New York?….

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      And a little generous to himself with our checkbook.

      • Chooky 3.1.1

        Golly…that is worse than Shane Jones on the public tab

        ….Hope the Herald makes a meal out of this!

        …Another reason why McCully is not a fit Minister of Foreign Affairs and must GO!

        ….Roll- on the Election!

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Didnt read the email ?

    Havent we heard this one before.

    So all that stuff about the incompetent staff at the ministry who didnt keep the Minister in the loop, well, was really a cover story for the hands on McCully we knew was lurking in the background.

    The next line will be that no ones to blame at all, but the MFAT head will ‘offer his resignation’ which will be refused.

    At least we have some consolation that Gerry will be prosecuted for his breach of aviation security laws, and as such his conviction means he can no longer travel to most of our western countries.!
    Bet THAT doesnt happen either !

    • ianmac 4.1

      3rd try. David Shearer was given leave to table an email after QT today and before the House closed. It had something to do with “Apparently New York does not have the interweb over there.” and may suggest that McCulley mislead the House.
      Not sure though.

  5. emergency mike 5

    its almost like key just says whatever he thinks is going to make an issue go away in any given moment. ‘its all under control’ bluff. he can always make up some other bs later.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    “Apparently New York does not have the interweb over there.”

    Turns out that they do actually have teh web stateside, according to today’s ministerial credit card disclosures:

    “The ministerial disclosure also shows that Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully paid for internet access on the same day that diplomats sent an email about sex-case accused Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail.

    Mind you, I read somewhere that 90% of all internet traffic is porn, so perhaps he was too busy to read his emails.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10333885/Taxpayers-pay-ministers-300-tab

  7. Redzone 7

    Exposes another bare faced lie from McCully. Of course he knew about the diplomat. The ‘mental health ‘issue is a neatly constructed smokescreen to avoid a return for trial. Not just.

    Now revelations of gross largesse at the public expense on his many global jaunts. Who the hell does McCully think he is?

    He symbolises why this government has to go.

    Lack of honesty and integrity( add Collins and Oravida to that list), self serving and excessive (add Hauitis spend up), and generally pretty fucking incompetent. (Too many to add)

    • David H 7.1

      To say nothing of the 800k that he wasted in the futile attempt to get onto the security councils top table. or what ever it’s called. It would probably make your eyes water, if ALL of his expenses are totalled up for this time in Parliament.

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