Malaysian man jailed in Sweden for hitting children returns home after release

Mr Azizul Raheem Awaluddin reunited with his four children (from left) Adam, 11, Aishah 14, Arif, seven, and Ammar, 12, at the KL airport yesterday. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Mr Azizul Raheem Awaluddin reunited with his four children (from left) Adam, 11, Aishah 14, Arif, seven, and Ammar, 12, at the KL airport yesterday. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEPANG (The Star/Asia News Network) - The first thing Mr Azizul Raheem Awalluddin did when he touched down at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was ask to see his children.

Mr Azizul, the Malaysian convicted of hitting his children in a Swedish court and subsequently sentenced to 10 months in prison, had not seen them for seven months.

"Alhamdulillah (thanks be to God), in this holy month of Ramadan, I have made it home to complete the fasting month with my children and celebrate Hari Raya with them. "My return is also a special gift for my mother, who celebrates her birthday today," said Mr Azizul, who arrived at 5.45pm on Tuesday.

Mr Azizul, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, was released on Wednesday from Swedish custody around 12pm local time (around 6pm Malaysian time).

Dressed in a white polo shirt and black jeans, Mr Azizul embraced his children who were waiting for him at the airport as tears flowed freely.

Mr Azizul's wife, Shalwati Nurshal, is still incarcerated in Sweden and has three months of her sentence left to serve.

Shalwati was found guilty of hitting all four of her children, while Mr Azizul was found not guilty of hitting their youngest son.

Mr Azizul said that while he was still willing to work overseas, he would "rather not go to Sweden".

Mr Azizul had some words of advice for Malaysians working abroad, saying: "Those who go for duty overseas, be sure to follow local laws."

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

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

On March 28, the Solna District Court sentenced Mr Azizul to 10 months' prison, and Shalwati, 14 months.

Taking into account the three months the parents spent in detention during the trial, as well as an early release for good behaviour, they were told to serve about three months' and six months' jail respectively.

The court also ordered Shalwati and Azizul to pay their children 67,200 Swedish kronas (S$12,275) and 36,400 Swedish kronas, respectively.

Sweden has outlawed corporal punishment since 1979, and is known to punish offenders heavily, with a minimum prison sentence of nine months.

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