‘I feared for my own life’: father of convicted son

TT/Rebecca Martin
TT/Rebecca Martin - [email protected]
‘I feared for my own life’: father of convicted son

The re-trial of the so-called Högsby 'honour killing' continued on Wednesday with testimonies from the parents who denied claims by their 23-year-old that they made him take the blame for murdering his sister's boyfriend.


Both parents continued to deny having caused the death of 20-year-old Abbas Rezai who was found murdered in an apartment in Högsby in southern Sweden in November 2005.

Instead they maintain that it was indeed their son who attacked and later killed him.

“I tried to separate them,” said the mother to the court, according to Aftonbladet newspaper.

Police revealed at the time that Rezai had been scalded with hot oil, hit with a variety of objects, and repeatedly stabbed in the back and chest, with the majority of the wounds sustained after his death.

He was also almost entirely scalped and one of his fingers had been partially chopped off.

The man was allegedly killed because of his relationship with the 16-year-old daughter.

Her brother, who was 17 at the time, was convicted, whilst the girl's parents, who were initially implicated, were acquitted, despite police claiming that it was almost impossible that the 17-year-old could have acted alone.

But according to the mother, she had been staying in the apartment next door, which was also owned by the family, but had experienced trouble sleeping when she heard a scuffle erupting on the other side of the wall.

She went there, witnessed Rezai and her son fighting and saw a knife or similar weapon.

The burns that she had on her hand after the murder she explained by saying that she had burnt it while making bread or possibly while cooking a few days earlier.

According to medical experts the injury looks more like if she had splashes of burning liquid, like scalding oil, on her hand. But the mother had no response to that.

“I don’t remember. I had taken sleeping pills,” the mother said over and over in answer to the prosecution's questions.

The mother claimed that the daughter lived a fairly free life, didn’t have to wear a veil, could hang out with her friends, choose her clothes herself and even had few restrictions when it came to boyfriends.

She said that both her and her husband had become “very worried” when their daughter had run away to be with Rezai but that they had no plans to kill him to save the family honour.

“No, we didn’t. We would never dare doing such a thing,” she said, according to Aftonbladet.

The father, however, told the court that after his daughter had run away to be with her boyfriend he was very upset.

“I told her ‘you used to be a brilliant gem to me, now you are just a rusty piece of iron’”, he said.

But despite this the father claimed not to have a problem with his daughter having lived with a man.

“It is completely normal,” he said to the prosecutor.

The father dismissed the prosecutor’s referral to a previous statement he had made when he had said he’d rather have a dog than his daughter and claimed that his daughter’s actions in no way had damaged the family honour.

The father also maintained that he had been in the bathroom when Rezai and his son started to fight. According to him, he witnessed his son attack Rezai with the knife and cut him down.

He didn’t stop his son because he was afraid his son would turn on him next.

“I feared for my own life,” he said.

He was also too afraid to let his son call the police after the attack, something he claimed he later regretted.

When asked if anything had got better in the family since the death of Rezai, he answered: “No, nothing,”, according to Aftonbladet.

The father also said that the son is lying and trying to push the blame on his parents because he is afraid he will be deported to Afghanistan after his sentence is through.

Because he now has a partner and a child in Sweden he would do anything to stay, said the father to the court.


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