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Published: Saturday March 1, 2014 MYT 6:33:00 PM
Updated: Saturday March 1, 2014 MYT 9:38:51 PM

Sweden trial: Best friend says it’s the dad who hit his son

STOCKHOLM: "Only his father hits him," testified a best friend of the eldest son of the Malaysian couple in Sweden on trial for allegedly hitting their children.

Nicolai Mikkelsen, 13, who is friends with Ammar, said he found out his friend was being beaten by his parent when he asked why Ammar he was often in a bad mood and had a sore shoulder.

"Sometimes when we tap his shoulder, Ammar would get angry and say his shoulder was sore. When we asked him why, Ammar said it was because his parents beat him," said Mikkelsen, adding that he found out about this in sixth grade, about two years ago.

As Mikkelsen is a minor, his testimony was presented to the Solna district court here in the form of pre-recorded interview by Swedish police.

Mikkelsen desribed Ammar as a "nice guy, who is hardworking but also quite sensitive".

The teenager with dark blond hair, was seen wearing a t-shirt and cargo pants, and spoke in Danish, which was translated into Swedish during the 40-minute interview, then translated to English for the accused.

Mikkelsen said he and a few of Ammar's friends convinced the Malaysian teen to speak to the school counsellors to see if they could help stop Ammar's parents from beating him.

Azizul Raheem Awalluddin, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, and his wife Shalwati Nurshal were detained Dec 18 last year after Ammar told staff at his school that he had been hit, leading them to report the matter to the authorities.

When asked which parent beat Ammar, Mikkelsen said he assumed it was the father, as Ammar never mentioned his mother hitting him.

He added that Ammar had told him about being beaten on five to eight occasions, saying his parents beat him over trivial things like being late for dinner.

"Ammar said there were minor incidents where he would just be smacked on the shoulder, but more serious ones where his father would hit him harder and speak loudly at him," said Mikkelsen.

This contradicts Ammar's testimony, in which Ammar said he was mostly beaten by his mother, going as far to say he was beaten "1000 times in a year".

Mikkelsen admitted he only saw red marks on Ammar's shoulder a couple of times, and that it was "small enough to be caused by anything".

On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul were charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child's integrity, by hitting and abusing their children.

The alleged offences took place in the family's home in Spånga, a Stockholm suburb, between September 15, 2010 and December 17, 2013.

The trial continues March 3.

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