Bila Malaysia akan serah Rizalman kepada New Zealand...
Melalui ruangan pendapat editor, akhbar itu berkata, New Zaland menuntut penjelasan mengapa proses menghantar kembali pegawai waran II itu masih tiada sebarang perkembangan.
"Awal bulan lalu, Malaysia memberikan komitmen untuk mengembalikan Rizalman ke New Zealand dan berkata keadilan perlu ditegakkan.
"Namun, diplomat itu kemudiannya dimasukkan ke hospital tentera bagi menerima rawatan psikiatris dan dibebaskan lebih seminggu lalu. Namun dalam masa terdekat tiada tanda dia akan kembali ke New Zealand," kata akhbar berkenaan.
Kes itu menjadi topik utama media Malaysia dan New Zealand apabila Rizalman pulang ke Malaysia atas imuniti diplomatik walaupun dia ditahan pada 9 Mei atas cubaan merompak dan merogol.
Dia didakwa di mahkamah keesokan harinya.
Pada Ahad 6 Julai, hari Rizalman sepatutnya dihantar pulang, Panglima Angkatan Tentera Tan Sri Zulkefli Mohd Zin berkata tarikhnya masih belum diputuskan kerana keadaan kesihatan mental dan emosinya masih dalam pemerhatian.
Penghantaran pulang Rizalman terpaksa ditangguhkan buat sementara waktu selepas doktor mengarahkan satu lagi ujian psikologi ke atasnya kerana dia kelihatan mengalami masalah mental dan kemurungan.
Akhbar berkenaan berkata, Menteri Luar New Zealand Murray McCully dan pegawainya juga masih tidak memberikan sebarang kenyataan jelas tarikh sebenar Rizalman akan dihantar untuk dibicarakan di Welington.
"Adakah Rizalman kini cuba mendapat ekstradisi?" soal akhbar berkenaan.
Rizalman didakwa menyerang Tania Billingsley, 21, di kediamannya.
Mangsa mendakwa, suspek meninggalkan negara itu di luar kehendaknya dan dia merasakan pihak berkuasa New Zealand tidak bersungguh-sungguh dalam mengendalikan kesnya. – tmi
When will Malaysian sex-assault suspect go on trial, asks NZ daily...
New Zealand daily has questioned the country's foreign affairs minister for keeping mum over the delay in returning a Malaysian defence officer, due to be extradited from Malaysia last month to face charges of burglary and assault.
Mohammed Rizalman Ismail (pic), a Second Warrant officer attached to the Malaysian High Commission, was to be sent back to New Zealand almost a month ago, but the New Zealand Herald said Wellington had been silent on the matter.
"Not only did this not happen but we are no closer to knowing when he will actually stand trial in Wellington.
"Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and his officials are refusing to shed any light on Rizalman's return," said the paper in its Sunday editorial yesterday.
It questioned how a process which seemed "straightforward has become so involved".
Putrajaya had last month said it would return Rizalman to New Zealand, following the storm created when it was discovered that Malaysia had invoked diplomatic immunity to allow him home.
Rizalman was later admitted to Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital in Kuala Lumpur for psychiatric treatment, and according to the Herald, he was released more than a week ago.
"But it seems now that he will not be back in New Zealand any time soon," the paper added.
It also questioned whether Malaysia was now resisting his extradition.
"Has it changed from the initial placatory attitude to New Zealand?"
Rizalman flew back to Malaysia on May 22 after Wisma Putra invoked diplomatic immunity for him.
The case has dominated headlines in both countries despite his arrest in Wellington on May 9.
Rizalman, a father of three, had allegedly followed 21-year-old Tania Billingsley from a bus stop to her Brooklyn house, before breaking in and undressing himself. The woman fought him off and neighbours went to her aid.
The Herald warned that further delaying Rizalman's day at court was delaying justice to his alleged victim.
"Has neither the government nor the ministry heard the legal maxim that justice delayed is justice denied? As the allegedly injured party, Billingsley has the right to see justice done as soon as possible," it added.
Malaysian lawyers, too, had questioned Putrajaya's rationale in holding back Rizalman for more psychiatric tests, arguing only the trial court in New Zealand can order that the sex-assault suspect to undergo mental evaluation.
They also said Putrajaya was undermining the New Zealand justice system every single day it delayed sending back the 38-year-old soldier to face sexual assault and burglary charges in Wellington.
Lawyer M. Visvanathan said Rizalman must be sent back for a trial as the soldier has been charged with two offences.
"The Kiwis are fair-minded and I am sure he will get a fair trial," he told The Malaysian Insider last month.
According to media reports, Rizalman is undergoing a second round of psychiatric assessments at Tuanku Mizan Military Hospital.
The reports said his mental condition had to be evaluated so that it would hold up in New Zealand courts.
Visvanathan said keeping Rizalman at the hospital was a mockery of the New Zealand court because the findings were of little or no value there.
"Our credibility is at stake by delaying his departure. We are seen as challenging the New Zealand legal and judicial system.”
Another lawyer, S. N. Nair, said Rizalman must be allowed to go through the due process, adding that he was innocent until proven guilty.
"Putrajaya must engage a counsel for Rizalman there who will apply to the court for an expert to determine his mental state.”
He said the report by local doctors was insignificant as Rizalman would be subject to the New Zealand criminal procedure code.
However, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said the reports prepared by local doctors could be tendered in a New Zealand court.
"I believe the investigators there will also send Rizalman to a hospital there and a report will be tendered in court," he said.- tmi