High Court upholds Siti Bainun’s conviction and sentence

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Rumah Bonda founder sent to Kajang Prison to serve her 12-year prison sentence.

The High Court on Thursday (May 2) upheld the conviction and 12-year prison sentence against Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali for neglecting and abusing Bella, a teenage girl with Down syndrome.

Judge Noorin Badaruddin dismissed Siti Bainun’s appeal to set aside the conviction and sentence imposed by the Sessions Court in May 2023.

“The court finds no reason to tamper with the findings of the Sessions Court judge. Therefore, the appellant’s conviction and sentence are safe and upheld. The appellant’s appeal is dismissed,” said the judge.

On May 3, 2023, Sessions Court Judge Izralizam Sanusi sentenced Siti Bainun to 12 years in prison after finding her guilty on two charges of neglecting and abusing Bella, 13, and ordered her to start serving the sentence immediately after rejecting her application for a stay of execution.

Siti Bainun was sent to Kajang Prison to serve her prison sentence.

Judge Noorin also rejected the application by Siti Bainun’s lawyer Haijan Omar, for a stay of the sentence pending her appeal of today’s verdict filed at the Court of Appeal.

In her judgment, she stated that the court found 18 injuries and scars on the victim’s body, proven by all the medical witnesses that they were not accidental or self-inflicted (by Bella).

“The court is satisfied that the Sessions Court judge conducted a thorough assessment of the prosecution witnesses, including eyewitness Yasmin Nahar Mahmood (a former resident of Rumah Bonda), who testified as the fifth prosecution witness (PW5), supported by expert medical witnesses who examined the victim.

“The court also finds that the Sessions Court judge did not err in his findings in concluding that, based on all the evidence presented, the appellant was responsible for the physical and emotional injuries inflicted on the victim,” she said.

According to Judge Noorin, besides the testimony of PW5, the testimony of PW8, Suhana Zam (a close friend of Siti Bainun), was also supported by medical evidence consistently indicating that the injuries sustained by the victim were not accidental.

Therefore, she said, the court found it difficult to conclude that both witnesses fabricated their stories against the appellant. – The Star