A teenage girl who is facing a charge of killing her newborn son was allowed to be released on bail by the Court of Appeal . — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PUTRAJAYA, May 13 — A teenage girl who is facing a charge of killing her newborn son was allowed to be released on bail by the Court of Appeal today pending the completion of her trial.
A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, Datuk Wira Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Datuk Hashim Hamzah, allowed the girl bail of RM20,000 with one surety with a local bailor.
Justice Yaacob said the bail will only take effect after the girl is released from psychiatric evaluation at Permai Hospital, Tampoi in Johor.
He said the 15-year-old girl and her bailor must report to the Chukai police station in Kemaman, Terengganu once a month before or on the 7th day of each month until the disposal of her case.
He also said the teenager and her bailor must attend court, unless exempted by the court and she must not be taken out of the country without permission from the court.
Justice Yaacob said if there is an application for the teenager to be taken out of the country, the application must be made in the court in which the charge was filed.
Before the hearing of the girl’s application for bail started, Justice Yaacob made an order that the girl’s identity should not be disclosed.
The girl was charged in the Kemaman Magistrates’ Court on Feb 15, this year with killing her baby at a house in Seri Bandi in Kemaman, Terengganu, between 7am and 9am on Feb 8.
She was, however, denied bail pending trial and her application to be referred for mental health evaluation was also rejected by the magistrates’ court.
The teenager subsequently filed an application in the Terengganu High Court to review the decision of the magistrates’ court which disallowed her application to be released on bail but was unsuccessful and she remain in detention.
The High Court, on March 8, this year, however, allowed part of the girl’s revision application by ordering for her to be referred for psychiatric evaluation.
She then filed a fresh application for bail in the Court of Appeal.
The teen was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the death penalty if convicted.
However, offenders under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to death under Section 97(2) of the Child Act 2001 and maybe commuted to imprisonment for a period as determined by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan, or Yang Dipertua Negeri, depending on where the offence occurred.
On Feb 18, the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) in a statement said that it could still investigate and review the murder charge against the teenager who allegedly stabbed her baby to death, and replace it with another charge.
Earlier in the proceedings, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said bail should be granted to the girl as she is a victim of statutory rape and sexual exploitation who needed protection.
He (Ramkarpal) said there is no reasonable ground to believe that she committed murder, adding that at best she might have committed infanticide under Section 309A of the Penal Code which carries a maximum 20 years jail sentence.
That section states any woman who causes the death of her newly-born child when her mental state is disturbed, she is guilty of the offence of infanticide.
Ramkarpal, who was assisted by counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo and Harshaan Zamani said the girl is currently under psychiatric observation and the extended evaluation at the hospital will end on May 22.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Eyu Ghim Siang said it is in the girl’s best interest that she should be temporarily placed at the welfare home before her case is transferred to the High Court as the facilities provided by the home were suitable for the teenager and that bail should not be given.
Sangeet Kaur told the court that the girl’s mother was not allowed access to her even when she was at the welfare home. — Bernama