9 Jul 2014

Woman wants McCully to resign

10:04 pm on 9 July 2014

The woman at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat case wants Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to resign and apologise for what she calls his incompetent handling of it.

Muhammad Rizalman appeared in the Wellington District Court in May this year on charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape, but later claimed diplomatic immunity and left the country.

Tania Billingsley says she hasn't had an apology from anyone.

Tania Billingsley says she hasn't had an apology from anyone. Photo: TV3 / 3rd Degree

Murray McCully talking to reporters on Wednesday.

Murray McCully said last week it was proper for him to leave the matter to MFAT. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

A botch-up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) allowed the 35-year-old defence attaché at the Malaysian High Commission to return home.

The law had banned the publication of the 21-year-old Wellington woman's name, but on Wednesday Tania Billingsley asked the courts to lift name suppression so she could talk publicly. Judge Bruce Davidson granted the request.

Ms Billingsley told TV3's Third Degree programme on Wednesday night that it was painful to watch the "incompetent handling" of the case and Murray McCully's reaction in trying to put the blame for what happened on everyone else.

Muhammad Rizalman.

Muhammad Rizalman left New Zealand in May. Photo: FACEBOOK

She said she hasn't had a formal apology from anyone and she wants one from Mr McCully.

"Not just for what I feel is a really incompetent handling of the situation, but in his reaction. The fact that even when asked directly about me and things like that that he just kind of brushed it off, and he's so intent on trying to put responsibility on everybody else."

The Malaysian government has indicated that Mr Rizalman would be returned to New Zealand to face trial, but it is not known when that might happen.

Last week, Mr McCully defended his actions, saying it was proper for him to leave the matter to authorities at MFAT.

Mr McCully said he had apologised to Prime Minister John Key, but he had not been asked to resign. He acknowledged that the way the matter had been handled had added to the suffering of Ms Billingsley.

MFAT chief executive John Allen also apologised to the Government for his ministry's handling of the case.