KUALA LUMPUR: A singer claimed trial in the Sessions Court here today to two counts of keeping and confining a sun bear cub at her condominium unit in Desa Pandan last week.
Zarith Sofia Yasin, 27, only nodded that she understood when the charges were read out before Judge Manira Mohd Nor.
According to the first charge, Zarith Sofia was alleged to have kept a sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus) cub, a totally protected species under the Second Schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, without a special permit.
The charge was framed under Section 69 (1) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and punishable under Section 69 (1) of the same Act which provides a fine of up to RM200,000 or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both, if convicted.
The singer was also accused of confining the same bear cub in an environment that was not conducive to its comfort and health and she was charged under Section 86 (1) (c) of the same Act which carries a fine of not less than RM5,000 and not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both, upon conviction.
She was alleged to have committed both offences at a unit of the Sentrio Pandan Condominium, Desa Pandan here at 8pm on June 8.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Munirah Zainal Abidin did not offer bail on the grounds that crime involving protected wildlife was a serious offence.
However, she said, if the court wanted to allow a bail, it should be set at RM30,000.
Meanwhile, Zarith Sofia, represented by lawyer Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah, appealed for a lower bail on the grounds that she was supporting her family.
The court then allowed the accused a RM10,000 bail in one surety for both charges with additional conditions that she must report to the police station once a month, not to interfere with the prosecution witnesses and to surrender her passport to the court until the disposal of the case.
The court fixed July 19 for mention. – Bernama