Woman at centre of Malaysian diplomat case goes public

Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail
Tania Billingsley

UPDATE: Tania Rose Billingsley (21) has been revealed as the woman at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat sexual assault case, having waived her right to name suppression.

Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, a staff assistant for defence at the Malaysia High Commission in Wellington, was arrested on May 9 and charged with burglary and assault with intent to rape after allegedly following Ms Billingsley to her home in Brooklyn.

Mr Rizalman left New Zealand on May 22 under diplomatic immunity after confusion at MFAT over whether a waiver had been offered or accepted.

"I found out that he was going to leave the day that he left. Up until then the police had been really great at keeping me informed, but even they didn't know what to tell me," Ms Billingsley said on TV3's 3rd Degree.

"I got this call and it was like, 'Yeah, you know we just found out that he's leaving today.'

"Obviously I was frustrated and I was angry because I had from the very beginning said that I wanted him to stay in New Zealand and be held accountable here."

On July 2, the Malaysian government said it would send Mr Rizalman back to NZ to face charges.

Ms Billingsley called on Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to resign.

On July 3, Mr McCully said his ministry had let him down, and that he had apologised to the Prime Minister. 

Ms Billingsley did not speak about the details of the alleged assault. See the full interview here.


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