KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The judge and all parties involved in the trial of the founder of Rumah Bonda who has been charged with neglecting and abusing Bella, a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, will visit the incident location at the victim’s home, a condominium in Wangsa Maju this Wednesday.
This follows the decision by Judge Izralizam Sanusi, who allowed the defence application at today’s proceedings attended by Siti Bainun Ahd Razali’s defence counsel, M. Yallini and deputy public prosecutor Fazeedah Faik.
“The court is of the opinion that after reviewing the exhibit of the photos of the incident location, the court needs to get a clearer picture or view of the (laundry) room to better understand the incident described in the witness testimony.
“I have reviewed the photos (and I) could not get a clear impression, especially at the window, because I don’t know which window can be opened. Like what the counsel said, it is appropriate for me to go to the incident location and see for myself,” he said.
Izralizam said only the prosecution, the defence counsel, witnesses, court staff, specifically the interpreter and the judge, as well as the accused, Siti Bainun would be allowed to go to the incident location.
“The visit will take place at 10.30 am and the trial will commence after the visit,” he said.
The locations to be visited by the court include the laundry room in the condominium, which was cited in the testimony of the fifth prosecution witness, Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, 18, a fellow Rumah Bonda resident.
Yasmin said in her testimony on April 8, that she was instructed by Siti Bainun to bite Bella’s belly as Bella did not want to follow the accused’s orders to stand in the laundry area of a condominium in Wangsa Maju.
During last week’s proceedings, defence counsel Nur A’minahtul Mardiah Md Nor requested a site visit to the incident location to allow the court to see the house itself and the size of the laundry room, as many incidents involving the accused allegedly occurred there.
Deputy public prosecutor Zilfinaz Abbas had objected to the request on the grounds that the case was already in the trial phase and not in the investigation.
Siti Bainun, 30, is currently on trial after pleading not guilty to charges of neglect and abuse under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which carries a 20-year jail sentence or a RM50,000 fine or both if convicted.