BELLA, a 13-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome, testified at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today as the 18th prosecution witness in the trial of Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali, who allegedly neglected and mistreated her last year.
However, proceedings were held in-camera as the teenager was a minor and a victim in the case, with judge Izralizam Sanusi ordering pressmen and members of the public to leave the court room.
Deputy public prosecutor Zilfinaz Abbas had earlier informed the court that the trial will be conducted in-camera.
Zilfinaz also said that in past proceedings, the prosecution had requested that an intermediary and an accompanying adult be appointed for Bella as required under the Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007 and for them to be with the girl in another room during the trial.
The two individuals are Dr Nor Jumawaton Shahruddin, a psychology officer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as the intermediary, and social welfare officer Noor Faiidah Mohamed as Bella’s companion.
Bella was seen smiling as she arrived at the Kuala Lumpur court complex around 9am accompanied by social welfare officers and policemen.
Siti Bainun, 30, is facing two charges of neglecting and abusing the teenage girl, causing her to suffer physical and emotional injuries between February and June 2021 at a condominium in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur. – Bernama, September 22, 2022.