ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
SWEDEN CHILD ABUSE CASE: M'sian couple unlikely to appeal against verdict
Publication Date : 30-03-2014
The Malaysian government will help Azizul Raheem Awalluddin and Shalwati Norshal appeal their convictions in Sweden if they want to, says Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
“Ultimately, it’s up to them, whether to appeal, but we are ready to assist them,” he said.
Anifah said, however, Malaysia respected the decision of the Solna District Court which found Azizul, who is in Sweden as a Tourism Malaysia Director, and his wife guilty of abusing their children.
Lawyer Kristofer Stahre had told The Star on Friday that Shalwati would most likely not appeal the 14-month prison sentence but he did not discount the possibility.
He said the 46-year-old reacted positively when she heard the verdict because the prosecution had sought a two-and-half year sentence for her on the last day of the trial.
In Sweden there is often a “relief” for good behaviour and Shalwati will most likely serve two-thirds of the sentence.
Taking into account the three-and-half months already served during her remand, she should be released in September.
Stahre said the prosecutor and defence had three weeks to appeal to the Supreme Court if they wished to do so.
He said he would be meeting Shalwati at the detention centre to discuss her options.
He pointed out that any appeal on their part could trigger the prosecutor into doing the same, but for a stiffer sentence.
The Star was unable to ascertain whether 38-year-old Azizul, who had a separate lawyer, was planning to appeal his 10-month sentence.
He is expected to serve only four months due to relief for good behaviour and for time already served during remand.
The couple, who have been in detention since Dec 18, were also ordered to collectively pay their four children damages amounting to 52,262 ringgit (US$15,972) for systemic and repeated violence.
Anifah said his ministry was looking into the possibility of extending diplomatic immunity to Malaysian personnel serving abroad in similar positions to prevent such an incident from happening again.
He said it was already standard operating procedure for personnel to know and understand laws of the country they were going to be based in.