A group of prominent and experienced lawyers appointed by Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim today held a watching brief at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur for the ongoing trial on the neglect and abuse of Bella, a young girl with Down syndrome.
The four lawyers were Khairul Anwar Rahmat, Baljit Singh Sidhu, Ikbal Salam and Mohd Radzi Yatiman.
Khairul, when met by reporters, confirmed that they were there as observers and that their presence had been given the green light by the women, family and community development ministry.
“Yes, we were appointed by TMJ,” he said, referring to the popular initialism for the crown prince.
Khairul is a former chairman of volunteer legal advice group SukaGuam. Baljit is an adviser to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, while Ikbal and Radzi are experienced in handling high-profile cases including the case involving the use of the word “Allah”.
Tunku Ismail had previously offered to provide legal services free of charge in the Bella case for a watching brief on behalf of the women, family and community development ministry.
Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali is on trial for charges of abuse and neglect resulting in physical and emotional distress to Bella.
Tunku Ismail’s wife Che Puan Khaleeda meanwhile had voiced sympathy for Bella, vowing to help ensure that justice is served.
“I will do anything within my power to get justice for Bella,” she said in a post on social media.