New Zealand sexual assault victim speaks out

2014-07-09 17:24


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Wellington - A New Zealand woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a Malaysian military official decided to identify herself on Wednesday and is criticising the handling of her case.

Tania Billingsley, 21, told television network TV3 that she thinks New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully should resign because he didn't keep track of the case and later tried to blame others for missteps.

McCully said in a statement that he had publicly apologised to Billingsley for “the poor management of this case”.

Muhammad Rizalman Ismail was working at the Malaysian Embassy in Wellington when he was detained 9 May and later charged with burglary and assault with intent to rape.

He claimed diplomatic immunity and returned home 22 May.

New Zealand officials at first blamed Malaysia for invoking diplomatic immunity, but later acknowledged they may have given Malaysian officials the mistaken impression they didn't oppose such a move.

Malaysia has since promised that Ismail will return to face the charges.

Billingsley said she felt "frustrated" and "angry" that Ismail had been able to leave New Zealand.

"I guess that I'm someone who has something to say about this assault," she said. "It happened to me and throughout this whole process, especially once it's become so public, my voice hasn't been heard."

Billingsley told TV3 that she considers herself a feminist and an activist against what she describes as a culture that's tolerant of rape.

She earlier asked a court to lift name suppression, which is automatically given to victims or alleged victims in sexual assault cases.

Police spokesperson Sam Hoyle said in a statement on Wednesday that police hadn't opposed her court move.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    new zealand publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks up to No 4 in rankings
Hooper cited over shoulder charge
Last chance for Paige to play?
WATCH: Maradona dances with Los Pumas in the changeroom
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.