Swedish child abuse trial: Son of Malaysian couple raises new questions

Ammar, 12, (left), Adam, 11, (2nd left), Arif, 7, (2nd right) and Aisyah, 14, (right) pose for pictures with Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister, Hamzah Zainuddin (centre) after they arrived from Stockholm, Sweden in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.

STOCKHOLM - The second son of the Malaysian couple in Sweden on trial for allegedly hitting their children seemed to raise more questions than answers as he gave an inconsistent description of the alleged abuse.

Adam Azizul, 11, attempted to describe an incident in which his mother Shalwati Nurshal had supposedly beaten him with a hanger for not doing the laundry correctly.

When asked to describe the event in chronological order, Adam suddenly brought up an incident where his brother Ammar was hit before going back to the event in question, then bringing up an unrelated incident where he got lost in a mall when he was six.

Adam, who is diagnosed with learning disabilities, struggled to answer questions during a pre-recorded interview, often slumping over and going silent for a moment.

In one interview, Adam went silent for over four minutes before the court cut short the video.

His parents Shalwati and Azizul Raheem Awalluddin were facing their sixth day of trial in the Solna district court here over charges of hitting their children.

The policewoman asked Adam if he had been beaten for not praying, claiming that Azizul had told investigators that Muslim parents were allowed to hit their children if they did not pray.

"If we don't pray, dad gets us to pray with him. But if he finds out we lied (about praying), he sometimes get mad," said Adam.

When asked what happened when their father was angry, Adam said he would shout at him and his elder siblings, but always "talked nice" to the youngest brother Ariff.

Adam also said he felt "bored" speaking to the police.

"But I'm happy today, broke a new record in finishing the interview quickly," he then said. Azizul grinned upon seeing his son laugh.

Interviewers were forced to cut several sessions short after Adam became reluctant to speak, asking: "How much longer?" and "When will the questioning be over?".

Towards the end of one interview, Adam was seen leaving the room even while the policewoman was asking if there was anything else he would like to talk about.

"Nope, nope, nay, nope," said Adam as he got up.

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 Spanga, a Stockholm suburb, between Sept 15, 2010 and Dec 17 last year.

The trial continues on Monday.