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Malaysian couple in Sweden pleads not guilty to all charges

Malaysian couple in Sweden pleads not guilty to all charges
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian couple, Shalwati Nor Shal and Azizul Raheem Awaluddin, who were  accused of hitting their children, stood trial on Tuesday in Stockholm, facing up to 10 years of prison if found guilty.

The couple was tried at 9am in the Solna District Court on charges of gross violation of their children’s integrity and for assault.

Astro AWANI editor Zan Azlee, who is currently in Sweden, managed to give a glimpse into the court proceedings and painted the atmosphere while the court was on a lunch break.

In a phone interview, Zan said the couple arrived in court at the same time with Shalwati looking emotional when she saw her husband who she may have been separated from since they were arrested in December.
Among those present during the proceeding to give support to the couple were the Ambassador of Malaysia to Sweden, Datuk Badruddin Ab Rahman, Tourism Malaysia personnel and the couple’s family and friends.

The proceedings began with the prosecutor reading out the charges against the couple such as leaving physical marks on their children using objects like hangers and a cane, and even hitting with their hands.

This was then followed by a reading of compensation claims by the children’s lawyer, where they are claiming between 50,000 krona and 62, 000 krona (around (around RM25,000 to RM50,000).

Kristofer Stahre, the defendant’s prosecutor, responded that the couple is pleading not guilty for all the charges.

And among the evidence he produced a letter, written by 12-year-old Ammar to his mother:

“Mummy, I am sorry, it was my anger that started this, I will always love you and nothing will change that. Love, Amar. P.s: I will always love you.”

The courtroom was filled with Swedish media.

“I met with reporter from Channel 4 and he said the Swedish media usually do not cover such cases as it is a regular occurance, however due to the attention given by Malaysian media on the case, it has given it more weight in their eyes,” Zan said during Astro AWANI’s flagship news programme Awani 7.45.

The trial which is expected to run for 10-days at the Solna District Court in Stockholm will see Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awaluddin plea their innocence for violating the integrity of their children.

The plaintiff which are Shalwati's four children, Aisyah, 14, Ammar, 12, Adam, 10 and Ariff, seven years old will however not testify in court.

The children returned to Malaysia on Feb 2 and are now under the care of their aunt Sharlena Makhzan who is also a teacher.
  
Shalwati and Azizul were charged last Monday for abusing their children, after being held under custody since December 18, 2013.