Malaysian military officer pleads guilty to indecent assault in New Zealand diplomatic case

A Malaysian military officer who was extradited to New Zealand after earlier leaving the country under the protection of diplomatic immunity has pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

Muhammad Rizalman Ismail faces a maximum of seven years in prison on the charge. He had earlier pleaded not guilty to more serious charges before entering his plea Monday. The court is scheduled to hear disputed facts in the case Friday ahead of any sentencing.

A police summary said the 21-year-old victim was watching a movie in her bedroom in May 2014 when Rizalman entered the unlocked home wearing only a shirt. The victim screamed and Rizalman grabbed her shoulders before she managed to struggle free and call police from a bathroom, the summary said.

The case has proved embarrassing to both countries.