Swedish child abuse trial: Brief reunion for Shalwati and sister

STOCKHOLM - It was a tearful reunion for the Malaysian mother on trial in Sweden for hitting her children after she finally met her sister, who is acting as temporary guardian of her children.

Shalwati Nurshal was allowed by court officials to briefly speak with her sister Shalena Hisham Makhzan, although the siblings were not allowed to have physical contact.

Shalena was heard talking about the birthday of Shalwati's eldest child, Aishah, whose 15th birthday is today.

Both Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin have not met their children since being detained on Dec 18 last year and only saw the kids testifying in pre-recorded police interviews.

Speaking to reporters during the lunch break, Shalena said she was grateful to be able to speak to her sister even if they were not allowed to hug.

"I needed to come here. It's been a long time," said Shalena, welling up with tears.

"We'll be fine. At least, I could speak to her and my brother-in-law Azizul. I love them so much," she said.

Shalena said she had told her sister that the children were all right and promised that she would continue to take good care of them.

Aishah and her siblings - Ammar, 12, Adam, 11 and Arif, seven - were placed in the custody of their aunt Shalena and her husband Nik Farid Nik Abdullah since they arrived back in Malaysia on Feb 1.

The siblings have since been attending school and living in Kota Baru.

"I'm proud of my sister. Despite being in such conditions, she's been handling it well.

"I know my sister. She's very strong and she knows her rights," said Shalena.

The parents had finished testifying, with Day 10 of the trial moving on to the testimony of various teachers and parents over how the children were alleged to have been abused.

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 SpÄnga, a Stockholm suburb, between Sept 15, 2010 and Dec 17, 2013.

The trial continues tomorrow.