The release of a report on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' decision to grant immunity to Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail will be put off at least until he is sentenced.

The former Malaysian defence attache yesterday pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of Wellington woman Tania Billingsley, 18 months after the Herald on Sunday first revealed that Mfat had let Rizalman leave the country.

A ministerial inquiry by former Treasury Secretary John Whitehead into Mfat's failings was completed last December.

Opposition MPs said the report should now be released. But Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Todd McClay's office said it would have to wait until Rizalman's sentencing and any potential appeals had been completed.


Labour's foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer questioned why Mfat and Mr McCully had persisted in keeping all information on the case hidden.

"An independent review of how it was handled was announced more than a year ago, yet findings have still not been released.

"Information has been kept from Opposition MPs, media and even the Ombudsman."

Green MP Jan Logie said the report should be released immediately, without redactions. She said questions remained about how former Police Minister Anne Tolley and Mr McCully responded, or failed to respond, to briefings that Rizalman had been charged.

"Both ministers need to be upfront about what they knew and when," Ms Logie said.