Sweden child abuse trial: I beat them to discipline, not hurt, says dad

STOCKHOLM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's tourism official Azizul Raheem Awalluddin, who is accused of abusing his children, told the trial here that he hit them to discipline but never to cause pain to them.

He said he would hit the children about two to three times in a year back when the family was still in Malaysia and Africa.

Azizul, a Tourism director based here, is testifying on the seventh day of their trial before the Solna district court.

"The idea is to make children know what they did was wrong, not to make them suffer or (be) in pain," said Azizul when asked why he beat his children.

Azizul and his wife, Shalwati Nurshal, were detained Dec 18 last year after their second child, Ammar told staff at his school that he was beaten, leading to a report being lodged to the authorities.

Wearing a black jacket and brass-coloured tie, Azizul confidently answered the questions put forward by prosecutor Anna Arnell, in Swedish and translated into English.

When Arnell asked if he was a strict parent, Azizul answered that he had become less strict after his second youngest, Adam, was kicked out of kindergarten in Africa due to learning disabilities.

"After that I was not as strict, I was touched that Adam had been sent to a disabled child's school," said Azizul, dabbing tears from his eyes.

The court allowed for a short break to allow Azizul to regain his composure.

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 Sept 15, 2010 and Dec 17, 2013.