A struggling man was held down on a bed and cut with a small blade during an exorcism after his relatives believed he had been a victim of black magic, a Sydney jury has been told.
The man, who cannot be identified, said they believed the black magic had been performed on him by his in-laws to convince him to move out of his mother’s home with his wife.
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.
Giving evidence on Tuesday in the NSW District Court, he said when he asked Riza Morinaj what he was doing he was told “I am drawing out the evil” and that the Koran would be recited.
Morinaj, a 39-year-old spiritual healer, has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping in company with the intention of gaining an advantage occasioning actual bodily harm, and to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company at a Sydney house in November 2016.
The husband said he wed his wife in an arranged marriage and they lived with his parents for a year, before moving out after his wife felt she was being treated like a slave.
While she respected his parents and had no problem with doing chores, she received no thanks, he said.
Under cross-examination from Morinaj’s barrister, John Selimi, the husband agreed his mother and grandparents blamed his wife’s parents for him moving out, believing they had performed black magic on him.
He himself did not believe in black magic, likening it to the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.
In November 2016, he went to a family function where his grandfather introduced him to three men, including Morinaj, who he said were friends from the mosque.
“My grandfather said these men wanted to have a quick chat with me as to why we moved out,” he said.
He agreed he had a sneaking suspicion they wanted to try to persuade him to move back and he was prepared to play along with it so as not to offend his family.
He told prosecutor Ken Gilson he was held down on a bed upstairs during the episode which lasted about 20 minutes before police arrived.
The husband denied Mr Selimi’s suggestion that he had submitted to the Hijama because he knew his grandfather wanted him to and was going along with it to appease him.
“I was not told what was happening before, I was not told why it was happening,” he said.
He only knew about the black magic exorcism claim during the procedure, not before.
“If they did ask for my permission, I would say no.”
The trial continues before Judge Helen Syme.