Woman claims she was held prisoner in family home by husband and parents-in-law

A court in Zug is currently hearing a case where a woman claims she was held prisoner in the family she shared with her then husband and parents-in-law.

It was in July 2014 that the plaintiff, now 29 years old, married her now 41-year-old salesman husband, both having previously left their native Kosovo.

Problems began as the newly married couple did not have a home of their own, having to share the accommodation with the husband’s parents.

The court heard how, from July 2014 onwards, the daughter-in-law was repeatedly kept locked in the apartment where they all lived for up to two hours at a time by her mother-in-law. As one witness, a former neighbour of Kosovan days, told the court, “I knew living in the same flat as her parents-in-law would not work. She was only able to have the occasional shower and was still woken up even on days she did not have to go to work.” 

Indeed, the plaintiff was not even given a key. What is more her husband used to threaten to kill her with a pistol he kept in the car, the witness saying she overheard such a threat on one occasion.

For the sake of clarity, the judge herself asked the plaintiff a few questions. “You mean your mother-in-law repeatedly locked you in the flat while she went walking or shopping and you said nothing?”
“Well, it was something I thought I just had to put up at first; I thought things would change over time.”

“Then you claim you repeatedly asked your husband about a key. But where were the keys when everyone was in the house?”
“Not by the door,” was the reply. “It is true it was left open on occasions, but I did not dare go out.”

Sometime later the husband did find a flat for just the two of them, but he turned it down because of his mother. “Everybody had to do what she wanted. She is the most evil woman in the world,” claimed the daughter-in-law.

Things got worse in 2016 when a scuffle broke out after the husband tried to get her passport off her, causing her to fall over and sustain bruising. As she then got up and tried to flee, she was stopped on the landing, her parents-in-law and husband bringing her back into the flat. However, she did subsequently go on escape, and embark on these legal proceedings against her now ex-husband and former parents-in-law.

When the lawyer for the three accused had the opportunity to question the daughter-in-law in court, he asked her if she was allowed access to the internet, to which she said yes, though her mother-in-law frequently denied her this.
“And did you not on occasions go out shopping with her?”
“Sometimes, I did, though I realised she preferred to go alone.”

“And did you not sometimes engage in leisure-time activities, such as cycling, with your husband?”
“Yes, but only in pursuit of his hobbies.”

“And did you not once attend an Albanian Disco?
“Yes, but only because my husband wanted me to go with him.”

“And what about going to visit your sister in Germany?”
“Yes, but that was only because my husband wanted to visit his uncle there at the same time.”

When the 62-year-old father had the opportunity to talk, he said he had been living here in Switzerland for decades with problems neither with the authorities nor any other people. “Everything was fine until this woman came along,” he said, in reference to his daughter-in-law. As for his wife, he said she treated her daughter-in-law as her own daughter, the husband going on to mention all he had done for his wife, from organising German courses to helping her with her driving licence. “And I paid for everything, too,” he emphasised.

The three denied all charges against them. It was following the afore-mentioned scuffle that the husband had gone after her to persuade her to come back and talk through everything. Furthermore, he denied keeping her locked inside the flat. “There was always someone at home or a key just hanging up. Had I known how important it was for her to have her own key, I would have got her one.” He said how he had really looked hard for another flat but turned down the one offered because of the cost and location, bearing in mind his working hours.

Only on Wednesday 21 November will the verdict be announced. If they are convicted, the prosecution is calling for conditional sentences of between one and two years.  

Share |

Source/Media Partner: