Shalwati and huband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian couple held in Sweden for allegedly hitting their child is expected to be charged in court next Monday, one of their lawyers said.
Kristofer Stahre, counsel for the children’s mother Shalwati Nurshal, said that he expected the couple to be tried jointly under the Swedish Criminal Code for “gross violation of a child’s integrity”.
Stahre said via email that his client denied the suspicions but added that “if the court finds her guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the minimum penalty is six months in prison. The maximum penalty is six years.”
He said the exact court dates had not yet been set but added that the charges would probably be brought on Feb 10 at 11am (6pm Malaysia time).
“The trial will probably begin on Feb 18 at 9am (4pm Malaysian time) and last for approximately seven days,” he said.
Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin have been in custody since Dec 18, but the Swedish authorities have allowed the couple’s four children to return home to Malaysia.
On the suspected offence, Stahre said it involved grov fridskränkning (gross violation of a child’s integrity), an offence under the 4th chapter of Brottsbalken (Swedish Criminal Code).
Stahre said the suspected crime consisted of several minor forms of abuse, which allegedly occurred during the family’s three-and-a-half years in Sweden.
Upon conviction, he said there was a possibility of an offender getting a suspended sentence and community service instead of imprisonment.
An offender would only need to serve two thirds of the jail term if they displayed good behaviour, he added.
“If Shalwati is found guilty, she will also get to count the time she’s been in remand towards a prison sentence.”
Stahre also said Shalwati had expressed relief that her children had been returned to her relatives in Malaysia with help from Wisma Putra.
“Shalwati has been strengthened by the moral support of her relatives, friends and the Malaysian people who have expressed support for her in Facebook pages,” he said.
“But it’s still a very tough situation for her and I’m doing my best to keep her spirits up,” said Stahre.
He added that the Malaysian ambassador along with his staff in Stockholm had also been helpful, “in all ways possible”.
Meanwhile, Azizul’s lawyer, Jonas Tamm, could not be reached for comment.