KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali has re-appointed one of the five lawyers who withdrew from representing her to handle her defence proceedings on charges of neglecting and abusing a teenage girl with Down syndrome known as Bella.
Siti Bainun, 31, told the court that she had appointed Mohammad Farhan Maaruf to represent her in the defence trial.
“I have also informed the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK) regarding his reappointment,” said the woman at her defence proceedings before Sessions Court Judge Izralizam Sanusi today.
Mohammad Farhan, when confirming the matter, said he was re-appointed by Siti Bainun yesterday.
Subsequently, deputy public prosecutor Zilfinaz Abbas requested the court to record the chronology of the withdrawal of the lawyers representing Siti Bainun in the case.
“I request the court to record that Mohammad Farhan has withdrawn (from the case) on Jan 13, followed by lawyers Nur Ellena Mohamed Razif and Asiah Abd Jalil.
“Lawyer Nur’Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor applied to withdraw in open court, and lawyer Nurul Hafidzah Hassan made a similar request in writing,” he said.
Following the withdrawal of the five lawyers, Siti Bainun was left with no legal representation in court.
Last Jan 26, Judge Izralizam ordered Siti Bainun to enter her defence on the charges even though she had no legal representation, saying that the proceedings should continue so as not to disrupt the progress of the case.
On Nov 24 last year, the court ordered Siti Bainun to enter her defence on the charges of neglecting and abusing Bella after the prosecution succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against her at the end of the prosecution case.
She 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.
The hearing before Izralizam continues. — Bernama