John Key Pressured to Name Diplomat Accused of Attacking Young Woman

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By Reissa Su | July 1, 2014 12:26 PM EST

The New Zealand government is under pressure to name the diplomat accused of assaulting a young woman and identify his home country. According to Prime Minister John Key, a court suppression order is blocking the government to reveal the identity of the diplomat who has now left New Zealand.

REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key speaks at a luncheon in Sydney February 7, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool

The New Zealand government said it is "doing everything" to ensure justice is served. However, the government has not received any assurance that the diplomat will stand trial for the assault charges in his home country.

Labour party's foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer told media that he doesn't see why the accused cannot be named and his home country if he was invoking diplomatic immunity.

Shearer said if New Zealand doesn't follow up the case, "we won't see that person brought to justice."

Mr Key said if Labour cannot understand why the government has to keep silent about the diplomat's identity, he challenged the party to feel free to appear on TV. He said Labour can face the consequences since he is "not their master."

According to reports, Mr Key may face questions about the case in Parliament today. He has been told about the suppression order and has no plans of revealing the identity of the man or his homeland.

Mr Key said the government requested the suspect's home country to waive diplomatic immunity but it refused. The diplomat had left the following day after the request was made. Although no assurance was given about the diplomat facing charges, the home country said they will be taking the matter seriously and hold the person accountable.

Mr Key only said the home country involved has a "good relationship" with New Zealand.

New Zealand police had arrested the diplomat in Wellington on May 9 and filed charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape. He appeared in the Wellington District Court on May 10, a day after the alleged assault.  

New Zealand would have preferred the diplomat to be charged but his home country prevented it from happening.

Mr Key has no comment about what action the government would take if the investigation will not hold the diplomat accountable. Media personnel had asked the prime minister about why it took so long to reveal the incident to the public. He said a series of meetings had taken place in the last month.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe remarked that the government should have been "a bit more upfront" to insist justice to occur at least in the home country. He said New Zealanders "deserve a full explanation."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool / )
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key speaks at a luncheon in Sydney February 7, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Brendon Thorne/Pool
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