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Friend: I warned Högsby 'honour' killing victim

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16:27 CEST+02:00
The re-trial of the so called Högsby 'honour' killing continued on Thursday with testimony from a friend of the victim who warned the then 20-year-old against visiting his girlfriend's disapproving family.

On day three of the re-trial, a friend of Abbas Rezai, the murdered boyfriend, told the prosecution how the then 16-year-old girl had pressured Rezai to come and pick her up.

“If you don’t pick me up, I will kill myself” she wrote over an internet chat, according to the friend.

The witness claimed to have tried to dissuade Rezai from meeting the girl, whose parents disapproved of their relationship.

“I told him that anything could happen. Don’t do this,” the witness said.

When 20-year-old Rezai was found murdered police discovered that he 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.

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

The investigation pointed to Rezai’s murder stemmed from his 16-year-old girlfriend’s family’s objection to their relationship.

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

In the on-going re-trial, both parents deny having been behind the deed and continue to place the blame on their son, who they claim have changed his story after he confessed out of fear of being deported back to Afghanistan.

On Thursday the wife of the 23-year-old son took the stand and testified that her husband had been put under a lot of pressure from his family to shoulder the blame for the crime.

She said that he has been under the impression that if he did his sister would be allowed to live.

“It has been difficult for him to talk about it,” she said to the court.

Now that he has changed his story, he is worried both for his own and his sister’s safety, she said.

The 23-year-old met his partner while he was interned at a youth detention centre following his conviction and where she was working. The couple have a child together.

A younger son, who was ten in 2005, reneged on earlier statements to the police and now claimed that everyone had been happy to see his sister and Rezai when they arrived back from Skellefteå.

He said that from his recollection no one had been angry at all.

The boy has previously been taken into custody on account of physical abuse in the home. Under oath he took back these allegations against his parents, saying that he had made it up and that nothing of the sort had occurred in his home, going against claims of his older sibling.

The boy also took back earlier information that he had given police about his parents being behind the murder of Rezai.

Instead he claimed that it was his sister who told him what to say.

“It was completely wrong. I regret saying that,” he said to the court.

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