BELLA, a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, appeared at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today for identification purposes in the trial of Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali.
Deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad informed the court that apart from Bella, there were five other individuals, aged between three and 17, present in court for the process.
Previously, the six were under the care of Siti Bainun at the shelter.
They will be identified by three witnesses, namely company assistant manager Zurianty Sudin, 39, Rumah Bonda resident Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 19, and law firm legal research officer Suhana Zam, 40.
Bella, clad in a blue shirt, black pants and grey scarf, was brought into the witness room at 9.50am by officers from the Social Welfare Department and greeted by lawyer Khairul Anwar Rahmat, who was appointed by the Regent of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, to hold a watching brief in the trial.
A total of eight prosecution witnesses have testified in the case and today Suhana, who is also the eighth witness, will continue her testimony.
Siti Bainun, 30, previously claimed trial to two charges of neglect and abusing Bella, to the point of causing the victim to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
She is charged with committing the act at a condominium in Wangsa Maju between February and June last year.
The charge, under section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, a fine of RM50,000 or both.
The trial before judge Izralizam Sanusi continues. – Bernama, June 17, 2022.