Riza Morinaj has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping in company occasioning actual bodily harm. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Riza Morinaj has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping in company occasioning actual bodily harm. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

‘Spiritual healer’ charged over exorcism

A CRYING MAN told a police officer "they did some voodoo to me" after he was found with numerous red circle marks on his torso, a Sydney jury has been told.

Constable James Dunn said he was called to a Sydney house in late 2016 where he saw a crying and shaking woman who said her husband was upstairs being held down and read the Koran.

The man's grandfather told him he believed black magic had been performed on his grandson and he was being checked out to see if he was possessed.

Const Dunn was giving evidence on Wednesday at the District Court trial of spiritual healer Riza Morinaj who has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping in company occasioning actual bodily harm.

The 39-year-old also denies an alternative charge of assaulting the husband occasioning actual bodily harm in company in November 2016.

Const Dunn said he went upstairs and saw a shaking, shirtless man lying on the bed on his side.

"He was crying and had numerous red circle marks on his torso," he said. When he asked if he was OK, the man replied: "They did some voodoo s*** to me."

The man and his wife, who can't be identified, lived with his parents for the first year of their marriage but moved out after she felt she was being treated like a slave.

The husband told the jury his family blamed his wife's parents for him moving out - believing they had performed black magic on him.

The Islamic follower denied consenting to the procedure which involved Hijama, or the use of suction cups to draw blood and incisions made with a blade.

Const Dunn said three males had walked out of the bedroom and one stated "all had been consented to" by the husband.

The man's grandfather told him he thought his grandson's wife had done black magic to him so he organised for the men to perform cupping and reading of the Koran to see if he was possessed.

Senior Constable Metin Karakus said the husband told him he did not give permission for the cupping and cutting, but was held on the bed and told not to move.

"They started putting cups on me and cut me with a razor," the husband told him, saying it hurt.

One man said he was seeking for the "blackness" to come out. "I kept telling them to stop but they didn't, they were reading from the Koran," the husband told him.

The trial continues before Judge Helen Syme.


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