28 May '11, 6am

Russian claims immunity to avoid NZ bill: Report

WELLINGTON - A RUSSIAN diplomat in New Zealand was reported on Saturday to have claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid paying a NZ$10,000 (S$10,090) repair bill after driving a rental car into a river. A bankruptcy resulting from the unpaid bill was thrown out this week after the High Court was made aware of the consul's right to diplomatic immunity. The Dominion Post newspaper said Russian embassy consul-first secretary Valery Martynov had picked up a Ford Focus car from the Hertz office in the southern New Zealand city of Invercargill in April last year. Several days later he called Hertz and said the car was 'leaking and had failed', and when Hertz had the car checked a mechanic reported major damage, according to court papers quoted by the newspaper. 'Vehicle has two big holes in engine block, damage to lower radiator and oil filter and oil and coolant all up back of veh...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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