The trial of the Malaysian couple in Sweden accused of abusing their children began on Tuesday, with the defense producing a letter in court, written by one of their children, Ammar, 12.
“I’m sorry, it was my anger that started this,” wrote the boy, who is the second of four children of Azizul Raheem, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm and his wife Shalwati Nurshal, a school teacher on unpaid leave.
Kristofer Stahre, Shalwati’s counsel said it was tough for Ammar to tolerate the pressure of being asked to help around the house, which made him feel hateful towards his parents.
He added that Ammar was an attention-seeker and he’s used to exaggerating his stories.
Stahre read the letter in open court, “Mummy, I love you. I’m sorry, it was my anger that started this. Love, Ammar. P.S, I will always love you.”
He also submitted a comment made by Ammar to a classmate via Skype, where the boy said how he hated his parents.
He added that the letter was found by the prosecution during a check of the house, but declined to submit it as evidence.
Prosecutor Anna Arnell justified that the letter was not seized by the prosecution, as it appeared to be a private communication between family members.
She added that in the interest of transparency, she had made note of the letter, which lead the defence finding it.
The case was heard before District Judge Mattias Möller in the Solna district courthouse and Azizul plus his wife appeared tired when they were brought in.
The couple were detained last year on December 18, after Ammar told staff at his school that he had been hit. They then lodged a police report.
Following that, they were charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child’s integrity, by hitting and abusing their children on February 10.
The alleged offences took place in the family’s home in Spånga, a Stockholm suburb, between September 15, 2010 and December 17, 2013.
Under Section 4a, Chapter 4 (on crimes against liberty and peace) of the Swedish Penal Code, the Malaysian parents could face between six months to six years prison for each charge.
More to come.