PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian High Commission staff Mohammed Rizalman Ismail admitted in a High Court in Wellington, New Zealand on Friday to smoking cannabis and buying synthetic cannabis.
Rizalman, then a second warrant officer, said he believed in black magic but denied defecating outside the victim’s house to put a spell on her.
Rizalman, 39, who admitted to indecently assaulting Tania Billingsley on May 10, 2014 following the attack in her home in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, was giving evidence outlining his version of events in the court.
Crown prosecutor Grant Burston had asked Rizalman about a statement he had made in Malaysia about never having bought or used synthetic cannabis.
When shown bank records – $18.95 transaction at Cosmic on Cuba on May 2 last year, Rizalman admitted buying the legal high there.
Burston said a shop employee had said Rizalman bought “the highest-strength cannabis – puff super strength” that costs $15 and cigarette papers costs about $4. Rizalman accepted that.
When asked about an employee’s evidence that Rizalman asked two young female shop assistants if they had a boyfriend and what they were doing later, Rizalman replied “maybe.”
Burston then asked if Rizalman asked one of the women for a drink after work. “Maybe,” Rizalman replied.
One of the women told Rizalman to leave her alone, Burston said. “I can’t remember,” Rizalman replied when asked if he had grabbed the woman’s shoulders.
Rizalman admitted to smoking cannabis back in Malaysia last year, six weeks before he went into a psychiatric hospital, saying it helped him relax and sleep.
Burston said Rizalman told a psychiatrist in August he had not used any drugs apart from alcohol.
“I did not conceal but I did not say because it was not normally done,” Rizalman said through the interpreter. “Because I had not used for a long time.”
Rizalman admitted to buying synthetic cannabis last year but don’t remember using it. He said he “maybe” used it to relieve stress from work.
He said he believed in “black magic” and that a superior officer – an uncle who was a shaman – had put a spell on him.
When asked by Burston if he knew a spell on a woman could make her fall in love by defecating outside her house, Rizalman said: “I don’t know because I’ve never practiced it.”
Rizalman also denied that it was black magic when he (Rizalman) took off his belt belt, lowered his trousers and underpants outside the victim’s front door.
Rizalman was asked about an assessment report in June last year about his “increased interest towards women”.
He denied going to Mermaids, a strip club, because he was interested in looking at attractive women but said he had gone there to â€œlisten to music and release tension.”
Rizalman was also asked about following a woman in Wellington on one occasion last year, where he had tailed her to a Trade Aid store and stared at her through the windows.
Burston said the woman stayed in the store and waited until he left but when she crossed the road, he was there in his car, motioning for her to get in.
Burston suggested that Rizalman was interested in the â€œattractive young womanâ€.
“Maybe I needed somebody to talk about the problems,” said Rizalman, admitting that he might have bought her a drink, over which they could talk.
Rizalman denied being sexually interested in the two female shop assistants at Cosmic on Cuba, nor in the strippers in Mermaids.
Burston asked if Rizalman was lying when he told the police he had met Billingsley at Reading Cinemas, when he was being questioned why he was on the path by the house. Rizalman said it was a â€œmisunderstandingâ€ because his English was not good.
Rizalman said that he was led to believe that Billingsley had invited him back to her house â€œnot from her speech but from her mannerisms and the way she smiled and the way she behaved”.
Burston recounted that Rizalman had gone for the screening of Chef at the cinema and that he had followed her into a supermarket where she had bought food.
It was there, according to Rizalman, that she had given him a â€œsignal to follow herâ€, which he did until he reached her house.
There, Burston said that Billingsley had made a 111 call, New Zealandâ€™s emergency telephone number, while Rizalman waited outside in the dark.
Rizalman said he waited for a long time because Billingsley had shut her door and he expected her to invite him in, and agreed he only had time to remove his trousers and underpants and have his emergency defecation where he stood, not having time to move away from the front door over to the lawn.
He denied taking off his pants and underpants because he wanted to have sex with Billingsley, but had entered her house bottomless to ask to use the bathroom.
Burston claimed that Rizalman had followed the victim all the way from the supermarket to her house and waited outside before going because he was hoping that that she would be interested in having sex with him.
“No, I only wanted to befriend her and talk about my problems,” Rizalman said, but he agreed that he had told police officers that he was losing his mind.
Rizalman said that he didnâ€™t know what he had done, where he was and that he was â€œnot really consciousâ€ of what he was saying.