Friday, March 22

Children of Malaysian couple return from Sweden


STOCKHOLM: The four children of the Malaysian couple who were detained by the Swedish authorities for hitting the hand of their youngest son for refusing to perform the prayer, returned to Malaysia on Friday morning.

The four siblings – Aishah (14 years old), Ammar, 12, Adam, 11, and Arif, 7, departed for Malaysia at 6.30am local time together with Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, as well as a special officer of the deputy minister and a relative of the four children.

Hamzah told Bernama by telephone before leaving that they were expected to arrive in Malaysia tomorrow.

Malaysian Ambassador to Sweden, Datuk Badruddin Ab Rahman, had sent them off at the airport here.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the prosecutor had obtained a court order to extend the detention of the children’s father, Azizul Raheem Awalludin, a Tourism Malaysia official, for another 11 days up to Feb 10, to assist in the investigation on the alleged hitting on the child’s hand.

The court issued the order to enable the prosecution represented by Anna Arnelle, to continue the investigation on the case.

It is learnt that the same court would sit on Friday to decide on the remand detention on Azizul’s wife, Shalwati Norshal, a teacher who is on no-pay leave.

Azizul and Shalwati had been remanded since Dec 18 and the remand order had been extended thrice.

There is no limit on the duration of the remand order in Sweden.

Following the detention, their children had been separated from them for 42 days.

The four siblings had been looked after by a non-Muslim family appointed by the Swedish authorities.

On Thursday, after being separated from their parents for 42 days, the four children were taken to meet their relatives from Malaysia.

They were then handed over to a Malaysian embassy official who is their new Muslim foster family. — BERNAMA