KUALA LUMPUR: Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali, who is facing charges of neglecting and abusing a Down Syndrome girl known as Bella, was ordered by the Sessions Court to enter defence even without being represented by any lawyer.
The order was made by Judge Izralizam Sanusi after he decided that the defence proceedings must go on so as not to disrupt the course of the case.
“The court has absolute discretion to allow or reject the application for postponement. In this case, I have to use my wise discretion. So today, we will begin with you reading your witness statement, which has been received by the prosecution.
“I have taken into account that your statement comes in approximately 200 pages, and I believe that the reading of the statement will take two days. I am also concerned about your right to be represented by a lawyer. So, I will postpone the cross-examination by the deputy public prosecutor (DPP).
“You have given your word to have a lawyer appointed within a month.
“As the hearing date was set for Feb 20, I am sure the DPP can do their cross-examination with you having a lawyer by then,” he said, according to Bernama.
When the judge asked whether she had filed a complaint to the Malaysian Bar against all five of her lawyers who withdrew themselves from her case, Siti Bainun said that she had not because they were still helping her prepare documents relating to the proceedings.
Meanwhile, DPP Zilfinaz Abbas objected to several paragraphs in Siti Bainun’s witness statement on the grounds that they touched upon the personal matters of previous witnesses and the expertise of the prosecution’s witnesses.
The judge then ordered the prosecution to list down the paragraphs in question. The court then stood down the proceedings to decide on the matter.