The man that was tried and convicted by Jan Logie and Mediaworks plead guilty to a lesser charge on Monday, but the court is still in the dark as to what happened.
What exactly happened during an indecent assault by a former Malaysian diplomatic staffer on a Wellington woman is set to be decided.
Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, 39, this week pleaded guilty in the High Court at Wellington to assaulting Tania Billingsley in the suburb of Brooklyn last year.
His plea on Monday came on the first day of what was scheduled to be a two-week trial.
Today, a judge will hear accounts of the attack from both Rizalman’s lawyers and the Crown to decide what really happened during the attack.
In an earlier, disputed, version of the facts, Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said Rizalman arrived at the Brooklyn flat, took off his pants and underwear before entering through the unlocked front door while Ms Billingsley was in her bedroom watching a movie on her laptop.
He said Rizalman grabbed her as she began to scream when he entered her room.
But Defence counsel Donald Stevens QC disputed the allegation Rizalman grabbed Ms Billingsley by the throat – saying he had only grabbed Rizalman’s shoulders and arms. [ as published, but probably should be “Billingley’s arms” ]
A judge must now decide what exactly happened at a disputed facts hearing.
Here’s something that we have never seen written in public before:
Charges of intent to commit sexual violation and burglary against Rizalman were dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence.
Keep in mind that all the other interested blogs and media were pitching it as a failed rape for months. But now the prosecution isn’t able to even back it up for an intent to commit sexual violation to stand up. Worse, emotive “grabbing by the throat” is disputed with “grabbed by shoulders/arms”.
This is the very information I’ve been insisting we would need to wait for before making any kind of decision about this case.
I still believe the two knew each other. This wasn’t a random attack. He may have been at her place many times before. He may in fact have had a relationship of sorts with her before. He may in fact have been in the process of playing a silly prank which would have worked out just fine had the relationship been up to it. Instead, it caused a spectacular backfire. Read more »