The 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome known as Bella appeared at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today for identification proceedings in the trial of Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali.
Deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad informed the court that Bella aside, there were five other individuals aged three to 17 also present in court for the identification proceedings.
All six were previously under the care of Siti Bainun at the shelter home.
They will be identified by three witnesses: an assistant manager of a company, Zurianty Sudin, 39; a resident of Rumah Bonda, Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 19; and a legal research officer at a law firm, Suhana Zam, 40.
Bella, wearing 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. Today, Suhana, who is also the eighth witness, will continue her testimony.
Siti Bainun, 30, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of neglecting and abusing Bella, to the point of causing her to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
She is charged with committing the act at a condominium in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021 under Section 31 (1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years, a fine of RM50,000, or both upon conviction.
The trial before judge Izralizam Sanusi continues.