In the aftermath of two claims that she neglected and abused Bella, a 13-year-old child with Down Syndrome, between February and June of last year, Siti Bainun Ahd Razali has been given the go-ahead to submit her defence.
Judge Izralizam Sanusi of the Sessions Court reached this conclusion today after determining that the prosecution had effectively presented solid evidence proving each component of the charges against her.
Izralizam claimed that the testimony of 22 prosecution witnesses who testified throughout the trial served as the foundation for his decision. He also stated in his grounds of judgement that the testimony of several Kuala Lumpur Hospital medical professionals and doctors on the teen’s bodily injuries demonstrated the essence of the crime.
“Her body was covered in scars, including burn scars on both of her arms, which showed that she had sustained a second-degree burn. These wounds were neither accidental or the result of self-inflicted harm.
“She is traumatised after living with the accused, according to her caretaker at Taman Sinar Harapan Welfare Home in Seremban, who also testified in court. When she returned to the welfare home to reside, she was perceived as being terrified of people and screaming while asleep.
The abused was entrusted to Siti Bainun’s custody by court orders acquired in September of last year.
A full courtroom gallery burst into tears as he got close to the end of his judgement: “Had Siti Bainun not mistreated Bella, the physical and emotional abuse upon her could not have transpired,” he added after reading out his grounds of judgement for roughly 22 minutes.
Individuals who spearheaded the #Justice4Bella campaign, including Siti Bainun’s close friend who also spoke against her in court, were present. Izralizam subsequently stated that a case had been established against the 30-year-old founder of Rumah Bonda and instructed her to enter her defence.
Siti Bainun was then given three options: testify under oath from the witness stand, testify under oath from the witness stand but avoiding cross-examination, or choose to keep silent, in which case the court will proceed to convict her.
Through her attorney Mohammad Farhan Maaruf, Siti Bainun stated that she will be testifying under oath from the witness stand and that the defence has lined up five witnesses, including Siti Bainun, to testify.
The judge then set the trial dates for December 5 to 9.
Catch up on the case, and the sequence of events that led up to today’s updates here.