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New Zealand officials identify diplomat charged with sexual assault as Malaysian

New Zealand officials have identified a diplomat charged with sexual assault as Malaysian.

Muhammad Rizalman Bin Ismail evaded charges in New Zealand by claiming diplomatic immunity and returning home last month.

He worked for the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington.

New Zealand police said Ismail, who is in his 30s, last month followed a 21-year-old woman home and assaulted her. They have charged him with burglary and assault with the intent to rape, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

A New Zealand judge had earlier suppressed the man's name and details of the case which could identify him, which was interpreted as including his country of origin.

But a High Court judge on Tuesday lifted the suppression order, saying he would detail his reasoning later.