KUALA LUMPUR: The two remaining lawyers for Siti Bainun Ahd Razali have withdrawn themselves from representing the Rumah Bonda founder in the case of neglecting and abusing the Down Syndrome girl known as Bella.
The two lawyers are Nurul Hafidzah Hassan and Asiah Abd Jalil.
On Monday (Jan 16), three of her five lawyers, namely lead defence counsel Nur A'minahtul Mardiah Md Nor, Mohammad Farhan Maaruf and Nur Ellena Mohamed Razif, each from a different firm, were also reported to have withdrawn themselves from the case.
With the withdrawal of all five lawyers, Siti Bainun currently does not have legal representation in court.
In Tuesday's proceedings, Sessions Court judge Izralizam Sanusi told Siti Bainun that the court received the notices of withdrawal filed by Nurul Hafidzah and Asiah on Monday.
"I received their notices at 9pm yesterday. I will give you a new date and you have to appoint new lawyers as soon as possible. If you feel disappointed and dissatisfied with the lawyers, you can lodge a report to the Malaysian Bar," he said.
At this junction, Siti Bainun was seen to be emotionally overwhelmed as she wiped away tears from her eyes.
Izralizam then advised the woman to quickly appoint new lawyers as she has every right to do so, subject to compliance with the court's orders and procedures so as to ensure smooth running of the case.
"I don't want any issue saying that you were not given ample chance to defend yourself. You can also get all the documents for the trial from the five firms immediately because you have to defend yourself.
"(But) do not engage lawyers from three or four firms...one lawyer is enough as long as she can commit.
"If you are dilly-dallying in appointing a new lawyer, I will continue the hearing of the case without one," the judge stressed.
Siti Bainun, however, said she had applied for legal assistance from the National Legal Aid Foundation and will appoint a new lawyer.
The court then set Jan 26 and 27 for the defence trial to resume.
On Nov 24 last year, the judge ordered Siti Bainun to enter her defence on two charges of neglecting and abusing Bella after the prosecution managed to establish a prima facie case against her at the end of the prosecution case.
Siti Bainun, 30, was alleged to have committed the offence in a condominium unit in Wangsa Maju between February and June 2021.
The charges were framed under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which carries imprisonment for up to 20 years or a fine of RM50,000 or both, if found guilty. – Bernama