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Malaysian parents charged with assault

A Malaysian couple working in Sweden is being prosecuted after allegedly smacking their child for missing prayers.

The case received global attention after Malaysian politicians launched a campaign to free the couple and described the Swedish authorities' decision to place their four children in temporary foster care as "abuse".

The parents work for the Malaysian state and hold diplomatic passports, but they do not enjoy diplomatic immunity. They have been charged with gross violation of integrity and one case of assault.

The crimes allegedly took place in the family's home in Spånga, a Stockholm suburb, between September 2012 and December 2013. The couple were arrested on December 20th after one of their children told staff at his school that he had been smacked. The staff reported the parents to the authorities.

"In my judgement, the children's information, given in a video testimony with the police, is credible," district prosecutor Anna Arnell said in a statement. She added: "Along with other supportive evidence, like witnesses and items confiscated from the home, there is good support for the indictment."

Swedish authorities allowed the four children, aged 7, 11, 12 and 14, to return to Kuala Lumpur last weekend. Representatives of the Malaysian government brought the children home and they were received by the country's prime minister and vice foreign minister.

All forms of corporal punishment have been banned in Sweden since 1979.

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