Rizalman: I went to strip club for music, not to ogle at women

Modified 5 Dec 2015, 8:12 am

Former defence attache Muhammad Rizalman Ismail admitted to a Wellington High Court that he went to a strip club but claimed he was only there for the music.

Rizalman, who was attached with the Malaysian High Commission before being charged, is facing a hearing in New Zealand for sexual assault.

The hearing is not to determine Rizalman's innocence as he had already pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

However, he is disputing certain facts of the case and the hearing is meant to establish which version the court will accept.

According to NZ Herald , prosecutor Grant Burston asked if Rizalman had gone to to the strip club called "Mermaids" in Wellington on two occasions when he felt under pressure.

Rizalman : Yes.

Burston : The women were taking their clothes off?

Rizalman : Only their outer clothes.

Burston : The women were topless?

Rizalman : Yes.

Burston : Were you interested in looking at the attractive women in the strip club?

Rizalman : No.

Burston : Why did you go to the strip club?

Rizalman : To listen to music and release tension.

The court also heard there were previous incidents involving Rizalman and women.

According to the report, Rizalman admitted to buying cannabis at a Wellington shop called Cosmic on Cuba on May 2 last year, where he then tried to approach two young female shop assistants.

Burston asked Rizalman if had questioned the two women if they had a boyfriend and asked one of the woman out for a drink, to which he replied, "Maybe".

However, Rizalman said he "can't remember" when asked if he grabbed one of the young women's shoulder when he was told to leave them alone.

He gave the same answer when asked if a male employee had escorted him out of the shop.

The report said Rizalman also admitted to smoking synthetic cannabis in Malaysia but denied using it during his stay in New Zealand.

Burston also highlighted a separate incident on May 8 last year where he had tailed another woman.

However, Rizalman insisted that he only wanted to talk to the woman about his problems.

Burston said after the woman went into a shop to get away from Rizalman, he stared at her before proceeding to his car.

Rizalman then tailed her again with his car with his window down, prompting the woman to seek refuge in another shop.

He claimed he was merely looking at the goods in the shop and was "not sure" about him tailing the woman in his car.

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