Court acquits Samirah, 2 teens of Cradle Fund CEO’s murder

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Judge agreed with the prosecution that the murder was premeditated and the house was set on fire deliberately.

The High Court in Shah Alam today acquitted and discharged Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers from the charge of murdering Cradle Fund chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan four years ago.

Judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman made the decision after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case at the end of the trio’s trial.

In his ruling, Karim said the prosecution failed to prove that Nazrin’s death took place between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018 and 4am the next day.

He added that there was no direct evidence to link Samirah and teenagers to the murder.

“The prosecution stated that the deceased died during this time but testimony from his sister (Che Elainee Che Hassan) stated that he (Nazrin) saw her message at 11.50pm.

“The prosecution merely assumed Samirah and the teenagers were with Nazrin during the time he died,” Karim said.

Samirah and the two teenagers, as well as an Indonesian woman who is still at large – Eka Wahyu Lestari – were charged with murdering Nazrin, 45, at his house in Mutiara Damansara between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day and of subsequently attempting to cover up the murder by setting the house on fire.

FMT

The judge said the prosecution had tried to implicate Samirah by claiming that she did not alert the Fire and Rescue Department and that she was not “sad” at seeing Nazrin’s death.

Karim also said the prosecution was not able to put forward the motive of the murder despite claiming that it was due to insurance compensation.

“Prosecution implied it was because of insurance money but at the same time in their submission, it was stated that the motive was unclear.”

Karim, however, agreed with the prosecution that the murder was premeditated and the house was set on fire deliberately.

He also agreed with the findings that Nazrin did not die due to a mobile phone explosion but of multiple blunt force trauma to the head.

“There was no explosion. Based on an X-ray, there was no sign of explosion, the component of the Blackberry phone was in good condition while the battery showed no sign of overcharging.

“The electrical component in the house was also in good condition, no short circuit detected,” the judge said.

Karim concurred with the findings that the deceased died before the room was set on fire.

He agreed there were signs of blunt force trauma to the head caused by a blunt object.

“The deceased did not show any signs of (trying to escape) the room and he was already dead when the fire broke out.

“The fire was deliberately set up and blood stains on the wall showed that Nazrin was involved in a scuffle before he died,” said Karim.

The prosecution closed its case on February 14 after calling 57 witnesses, including the deceased’s older siblings, brothers Dr Abdul Aziz and Dr Malek Reedzwan and sister Che Elainee; Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department director Edwin Galan Anak Teruki; Kuala Lumpur Hospital pathology forensic officer Dr Siew Sheue Feng; and a security guard at the deceased’s residence, Raju Kumar Pandit.

The hearing began on Sept 6, 2019.

The prosecution was conducted by deputy public prosecutors Mohd Asnawi Abu Hanipah, Tengku Intan Suraya Tengku Ismail and Nur Sabrina Zubairi while the defence team consisted of lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Rahmat Hazlan, LS Leonard, S Suresh, Savreena Kaur and Zahria Eleena Redza.

Samirah, 47, who is also Nazrin’s widow and the two teens aged 16 and 19, arrived at the court at about 9.10am accompanied by a lawyer and family members.

After the proceedings ended, lead counsel Shafee Abdullah told reporters the defence was prepared should the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) challenge the acquittal of Samirah and the teenagers.

“If there is an appeal, we will stand a chance to win because we think the decision will be maintained,” he said.