KUALA LUMPUR – From now on, people who want to attend or follow the child neglect and abuse case of the Down Syndrome girl, Bella, need to get a pass before they are allowed to enter the Sessions Court.
The similar rules will apply to all journalists covering the story of the case.
Earlier, the journalists and members of the public were allowed to enter the court freely for the hearing of the case.
However, after becoming a focus, the number of attendees of the case increased significantly and the court had to be fair in balancing the number of journalists and public.
The defence counsel is expected to make their final cross-examination on the fifth prosecution witness, Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 18, before the prosecution examines the witness again.
Meanwhile, a source from the prosecutor told MalaysiaGazette that they have not received the application from the lawyers of the Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to hold a watching brief to observe the trial.
Last Sunday, Tunku Ismail offered the services of his lawyers for free to hold a watching brief on behalf of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) for Bella’s case.
In her testimony earlier, Yasmin revealed various abuse on the girl with disability to the court.
Yasmin, who was a resident of Rumah Bonda when the abuse happened said that Bella was poured with hot water and forced to eat chilli.
Yasmin, who was eight-month-pregnant when she was picked up from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital psychiatry ward by Siti Bainun to stay at Rumah Bonda also alleged that the incident which sparked the hatred of Siti Bainun towards Bella was the latter had pulled a curtain until it fell.
Last Friday, Siti Bainun’s defence counsel alleged that Yasmin has told 10 lies in the court in her testimony.
Among the lies included the curtain incident which according to the lawyer, happened in October 2020 while the abuse on the disabled girl started in March 2021, as testified by Yasmin herself.
Siti Bainun, 30, pleaded not guilty to two counts of child neglect and abuse of the girl, causing her to sustain physical and emotional wounds at a condominium in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.
She was charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2011, which carries the sentence of 20 years in prison or RM50,000 in fine or both upon conviction.
The trial is ongoing before Sessions Court Judge Izralizam Sanusi. – MalaysiaGazette
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