13/06/2024 01:23 PM

PETALING JAYA, June 13 (Bernama) -- The parents of autistic boy, Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin, were charged in the Sessions Court today with negligence, which potentially caused physical injury to the child in December last year.

Zaim Ikhwan Zahari and Ismanira Abdul Manaf, both 29 years old, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to them before Judge Dr. Syahliza Warnoh.

Both claimed trial.

According to the charges, the couple is jointly accused of neglecting their 6-year-old son, Zayn Rayyan, potentially causing him physical injury.

The offence allegedly took place around Jalan PJU Damansara Damai between 12.00 pm on Dec 5 and 9.55 pm on Dec 6.

The charges were brought under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, read together with Section 34 of the same act, which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both, upon conviction. 

Before the charges were read, the court interpreter asked both defendants if they were in good health. Zaim Ikhwan replied that he was healthy, while Ismanira reported feeling unwell and suffering bouts of vomiting.

Deputy public prosecutors Ku Hayati Ku Haron and Ahmad Zuhaini Mahamad Amin appeared for the prosecution, while lawyers Fahmi Abd Moin and Mahmud Jumaat represented Zaim Ikhwan and Ismanira, respectively.

Ku Hayati offered bail at RM15,000 each, with the additional conditions that they surrender their passports to the court and report to the nearby police station every month.

However, Fahmi appealed for a bail of RM5,000, citing that the purpose of the bail was solely for the accused's court appearances, and agreed to the additional conditions.

"My client (Zaim Ikhwan) is cooperating fully with the police.

"I believe this court can balance the principles between public interest and the welfare of our client. If they cannot afford bail, they will have to stay in jail. They will also attend court without fail," he said.

Mahmud requested a lower bail for Ismanira as well on the grounds that she is unemployed and dealing with severe depression.

He cited that she also has to care for her second child, who has severe speech delay and autism, requiring ongoing treatment.

Mahmud said that Zaim Ikhwan is also undergoing treatment for severe depression and is actively working to support the family, while emphasising that both accused do not pose a flight risk.

"My client also requests that the MyKid of their other child, currently held by the police, be returned to the family for treatment purposes," said the lawyer. 

Ku Hayati then responded by acknowledging the seriousness of the charges, noting that negligence had led to the victim's death.

Both lawyers also requested a gag order to prevent public statements about the case.

Syahliza subsequently allowed bail at RM10,000 each with one surety and agreed to the additional conditions of reporting monthly to the nearby police station and ensuring neither accused nor their representatives tamper with prosecution witnesses until the case is concluded.  

"The court only approves the gag order for parties involved in this case, and the MyKid of the defendants’ other child will be returned to family members," said Syahliza, who also scheduled July 26 for the case mention.

On Dec 6 last year, the body of Zayn Rayyan was found in a stream near his home at Idaman Damansara Damai Apartments here, a day after he was reported missing.

The child is believed to have been murdered, as the autopsy revealed injuries on his neck and body indicating a struggle.

The unfortunate child's parents, detained around Puncak Alam, Selangor on May 31, were remanded for 13 days from June 1 to assist in the investigation of the murder case under Section 302 of the Penal Code.


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