KUALA LUMPUR: A video recording of an interview by the police with Bella, a teenager with Down Syndrome, was played in the sessions court here today.
The video, recorded at the Child Interview Centre, was from an interview by a police officer from the sexual, women, and children crime investigation division (D11) with the 13-year-old girl who was allegedly neglected and abused by Rumah Bonda founder, Siti Bainun Ahd Razali.
Before the video was played, counsel Nur A’minahtul Mardiah Md Nor, who is representing Siti Bainun, requested for the public gallery to be cleared as Bella is underage and protected under Section 6 of the Child Witness Act 2007.
Judge Izralizam Sanusi allowed the request and ordered the public gallery to be vacated except for the prosecution, defence, the lawyer holding a watching brief and the accused.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad told the court that the psychiatrist who handled Bella’s case was unable to testify today as she was involved in another presentation.
“The prosecution has five more witnesses including a psychiatrist, a doctor, two investigation officers and Bella herself. The witness after the psychiatrist is Bella. The psychiatrist is required to assist the court to understand Bella’s disability and intellectual limitations.
“The psychiatrist can give examples of questions which can be given to Bella. Therefore, Bella can only be called after the psychiatrist has testified,” she said.
Siti Bainun, 30, pleaded not guilty to two charges of neglecting and mistreating Bella, causing the victim to suffer physical and emotional injuries, at a condominium in Wangsa Maju here between February and June 2021.
She is charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Children Act 2001 which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail or a fine of RM50,000 or both, if convicted.
The trial before Izralizam continues on September 21.