21 Nov 2014

Malaysian diplomat pleads not guilty

12:12 pm on 21 November 2014

A former Malaysian defence attaché accused of attacking a Wellington woman has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces and elected trial by jury.

Muhammad Rizalman appearing at the Wellington District Court

Muhammad Rizalman during an earlier appearance at the Wellington District Court Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Muhammad Rizalman, 38, made a brief appearance before a Registrar at the Wellington District Court on charges of assault with intent to commit sexual violation and burglary.

He elected trial by jury and will reappear in court in February, but his trial was unlikely to take place until later next year.

Mr Rizalman was currently on bail at an undisclosed address and subject to a curfew from 7pm until 7am.

He was also barred from entering Cuba Street in Wellington and the suburbs of Berhampore and Newtown.

Mr Rizalman first appeared in court in May, but a mistake by New Zealand officials allowed him to return home under diplomatic immunity.

He was returned to New Zealand last month after extradition proceedings were filed in Malaysia.

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