KUALA LUMPUR: The sessions court here has dismissed an application by Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali to obtain 15 prosecution witness statements, that were recorded by the police, for her defence trial.
Judge Izralizam Sanusi dismissed the application on grounds that the statements were privileged documents.
“Apart from that, the statements cannot be accepted as evidence except for the purpose of challenging the credibility of witnesses under Section 155 of the Evidence Act 1950 and Section 113(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code and some other exceptions,” the judge said.
He also said that the witnesses offered by the prosecution were available and could be cross-examined by the defence and thus, there would be no “miscarriage of justice”.
On another application by the defence to recall three of the prosecution witnesses, the judge said he would need time to deliberate on the matter and ordered the defence to submit its purpose and reasons for wanting to do so.
He said this was to ensure that the application was not a tactic to delay the hearing process.
“The order will be made after I obtain and examine the complete list of witnesses along with the purpose and reason (by the defence) for recalling the witnesses,” he added.
The three witnesses are a former resident of Rumah Bonda, Yasmin Nahar Mohmood, investigating officer Rohaini Baharom from the sexual, women and children investigation division (D11) of the Kuala Lumpur contingent police headquarters, and plastic surgeon Dr Salmi Shukur.
Izralizam then set the defence trial to be held over 25 days between January and March next year.
On Nov 24, the court ordered Siti Bainun to enter her defence on the charge of neglecting and abusing a 13-year-old Down Syndrome girl known as Bella after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against her.
She was charged with committing the offences, resulting in the girl suffering physical and emotional injuries, at a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.
The charge has been framed under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001. If convicted, Siti Bainun faces up to 20 years in jail or a maximum fine of RM50,000, or both.