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Eight-year-old's 'killer' attacks husband in court

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Eight-year-old's 'killer' attacks husband in court
Photo: Yara Alnajjar's uncle returns to court for the appeal case against him. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
13:57 CEST+02:00
A woman convicted of the murder of eight-year-old Yara Alnajjar threw herself at her husband, the girl's uncle, in a Malmö courtroom on Monday at the start of a high-profile appeal.

Staff at the appeals court had to pull the pair apart after the victim’s aunt attacked her husband. The woman was then taken sobbing back to her seat.

The courtroom drama is the latest twist in a long running case that has gripped people in Sweden in recent months.

Eight-year-old Yara’s uncle and his wife had been tasked with caring for the young girl from Gaza, who was sent to Sweden by her parents in February 2013. 

However, a district court found that instead of ensuring her safety and meeting her needs, her female guardian beat her to death with a rolling pin, inflicting wounds all over her body during a Swedish festival, Walpurgis Night, April 30th, in Karlskrona.

It ruled that uncle, who was present, did nothing to intervene.

In February, the 31-year-old woman was given a life sentence for the murder while her 32-year-old husband, Yara’s uncle, received a six-year sentence for serious assault and involuntary manslaughter.

But now an appeals court will examine those sentences again, especially that of the uncle, who many feel got off too lightly.

After the courtroom tumult on Monday morning, chief prosecutor Pernilla Åström demanded that Yara’s uncle be sentenced to prison for her murder. 

The couple’s lawyers meanwhile called for the charges against them to be dropped. The girl’s aunt and uncle both claim they are innocent. 

Prosecutor Åström wants the appeals court to decide if the uncle’s passivity during the abuse which led to Yara’s death is serious enough to merit a murder conviction for him as well.

The appeals trial will continue until April 28th.

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