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Ritual killing...aunt certified fit to stand trial
The woman who allegedly led an exorcism ritual which claimed the life of three-year-old Chua Wan Xuen in Bukit Minyak last month, has been declared fit to stand trial.
Psychiatrists from Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta, however, also found that the accused, Chua Ah Luan, 40, could have been suffering from a mental condition when she allegedly led six other family members in the ritual.
They reached this conclusion after after conducting a month-long evaluation on Chua, who is a former teacher and also the deceased's aunt.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Aishah Ramlan related the findings to Judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin when the case came up for pre-trial hearing yesterday.
Chua was one of seven people who were charged with causing Wan Xuen's death by negligence.
Also charged were the child's father Chua Seng Ban and mother Lim She Lee, both 35, the victim's uncle Chua Seng Hoo, 29, aunt Chua Ah Luan, 40, grandmother Ong Soh Guat, 67, and cousins Loke Xim Lin, 21, and a 16-year-old boy.
Seng Ban and She Lee, who was three-month pregnant, are also slapped with an additional charge under the Child Act 2001 for exposing their child to physical injuries.
If convicted, both can be fined up to RM20,000 or jailed a maximum 10 years, or both.
They allegedly committed the offence on Aug 5 in their home at Lorong Bukit Minyak 19, Taman Bukit Minyak in Bukit Tengah between 7.50pm and 10.52pm.
Yesterday, all the accused who were released on RM4,000 bail each, were in court. She Lee was seen crying.
Lawyer C.P Ang represented all the accused.
It was reported that the seven family members and their Indonesian maid took part in the ritual to allegedly save the toddler from an angry spirit.
The Indonesian maid was not charged and was expected to be produced as a prosecution witness.
The case was fixed for mention on Oct 4.