Netizens criticised a lawyer for sharing cross-examination details with a prosecution witness too.
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The case concerning Siti Bainun Ahmad Razali, the founder of the Rumah Bonda welfare home, and Bella, the 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome whom she allegedly abused has become a hot topic again among netizens due to one of the lawyers.
Siti Bainun has a team of lawyers and one of them, Hafidzah Hassan, shared some case details on Twitter.
Hafidzah shared details from her cross-examination with the fifth prosecution witness, Yasmin Nahar Mahmood, an 18-year-old resident of Rumah Bonda.
However, what irked netizens more was the group photo attached together in the Twitter thread. The photo showed the group of lawyers and Siti Bainun (in red) with peace and ‘heart’ signs.
Sebahagian cross examination oleh peguam siti bainun kepada Saksi pendakwaan kelima.— HafidzahHassan (@hafidzahhassan1) April 14, 2022
Netizens said they understood that criminals have the right to be represented by lawyers but the lawyers shouldn’t behave gleefully especially when they’re defending a criminal.
For most of the netizens, the laidback or cheerful attitude conveyed by the lawyers was unbecoming and showed a lack of compassion and conscience for Bella who was abused by Siti Bainun.
They also questioned the motive of the lawyer for sharing the cross-examination details.
Ape motif thread ni ya? Seronok betul buat mini love, buat peace.. budak tu dah cukup azab si bainun ni kejekan😪— RabiaHidyh🤍 (@Heyyrabio) April 14, 2022
Cross examination to undermine the credibility of witness je la korang boleh buat. It still doesn’t deny the fact that penderaan berlaku. Next time dekat court professional sikit. I was there sambil geleng kepala tengok team ni.— Think Before Following (@Viallithe) April 14, 2022
I could understand this is your work. But it’s quite suspicious when you share about this on socmed. Even in tiktok. Before this, you didnt share about the cases you handled isnt it?— Heather 🌻 🇵🇸 (@Aateen_) April 14, 2022
Even lawyer Syahredzan Johan said he wouldn’t take photos with criminals and post them on social media although he believes criminals have the right to legal representation.
Another netizen said sharing details of the court case in public while it’s ongoing can be considered sub judice.
I have represented individuals who I personally think are scum of the earth. But even scum have the right to legal representation.— Syahredzan Johan (@syahredzan) April 15, 2022
Everyone has the right; this is the principle I believe in.
But I wouldn’t take photos with these kind of people and post them on my social media.
When lawyers talk about ongoing cases, especially high profile ones & there has been quite a few, I do wonder if it really is just for their branding / marketing or is it to skew public opinion? Either way, if a case is still ongoing, it’s sub judice.— Cassandra Lee 🇲🇾 (@cassleeyy) April 14, 2022
Another netizen compared Siti Bainun’s legal team to the lawyers who defended known serial killers and pointed out the differences in behaviour.
What has the court heard so far?
According to Malay Mail, the Sessions Court was told yesterday (14 April) that Bella was fed rotten chicken mixed with chilli, chilli flakes, vinegar, turmeric, salt and soy sauce during the fasting month by Siti Bainun.
The witness Yasmin said Bella was told by Siti Bainun to finish the rice although she was already full because she ate in secret when Siti Bainun wasn’t at home.
Siti Bainun forced Yasmin to fry the rotten chicken thighs for Bella to eat. Siti Bainun also fed Bella 20 chilli padi and asked another Rumah Bonda resident Aida to count the chillies.
On top of these cruel acts, Siti Bainun also kicked Bella in the stomach for not listening to her instructions. She also threatened to pour hot water on Bella if Bella failed to finish all the chillies.
She would instruct Yasmin and Aida to hold Bella and force her to kneel.