Bella Case: Court decides Thursday whether Siti Bainun will be freed or to enter defence

KUALA LUMPUR • The Sessions Court here will decide tomorrow on whether to free or order Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali to enter her defence on the charges of neglecting and abusing a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, known as Bella.

Judge Izralizam Sanusi is scheduled to deliver his decision at the end of the prosecution case at 9am.

If the decision favours the prosecution, Siti Bainun, 30, will be called to enter her defence. Otherwise, she will be acquitted and discharged.

The prosecution closed its case on Oct 28 after calling 22 witnesses in the trial which began on March 30 this year.

Among the prosecution witnesses called to testify were Bella, a former resident of Rumah Bonda Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, psychiatrist Dr Wan Asyikin Wan Azlan, an assistant manager of a company Zurianty Sudin, and a plastic surgeon Dr Salmi Mohamed Shukur.

The prosecution is represented by deputy public prosecutors Nor Azizah Mohamad, Zilfinaz Abbas, Zahida Zakaria, Fazeedah Faik, dan Shakira Aliana Alias while lawyers Nur’Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor, Mohammad Farhan Maaruf, Nurul Hafidzah Hassan dan Nur Ellena Mohamed Razif represented Siti Bainun.

Siti Bainun pleaded not guilty to two charges of abuse and neglect which resulted in physical and emotional distress to a teenage girl between February and June 2021 at a condominium in Wangsa Maju here.  

She was charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years or a fine of RM50,000, or both, if convicted. – Bernama