The 15th prosecution witness in the case of the murder of Cradle Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nazrin Hassan, told the High Court yesterday that he had never investigated a fire case caused by an explosion of the BlackBerry type handphone.
The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) Selangor investigating officer, Abdul Halim Zulkefeli said he had also made a study to ascertain if such a case as the explosion of the BlackBerry handphone to the extent of causing a fire had occurred previously but could not find it.
According to Abdul Halim, when investigating the fire that occurred in Nazrin’s bedroom on June 14, 2018, he had asked the man’s wife, Samirah Muzaffar, 44, on the victim’s handphone.
He said Samirah had disclosed that Nazrin had many handphones, including the BlackBerry type, which resulted in him carrying out an in-depth study if there was a fire case involving a similar device.
“To my knowledge (since working as a fire officer), there was no fire involving a BlackBerry handphone,” he said when replying to a question by Selangor State Prosecution Director, Datuk Salim Soib(@Hamid before Justice Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman.
Asked by Salim how was the study carried out by the fire officer, Abdul Halim said his investigation was based on the Google search engine.
Salim: Encik Halim, you have investigated many fire cases. Are there electronic fires caused by handphones or the telephone battery caught fire?
Abdul Halim: None
Salim: (So) Encik Halim does not agree with the lawyer’s suggestion previously that said the handphone exploded
Abdul Halim: Yes
Salim: (While showing the photograph of the location of the incident that was submitted to the court) Could an exploding handphone cause any trace of smudges on the wall?
Abdul Halim: Negative, because the traces of smudges were due to fire, not due to the exploding handphone.
Salim: For whatever explosion, how does it look?
Abdul Halim: If an explosion occurs, maybe there are pieces of shrapnel, there will be things scattered and traces of an explosion will be seen there. For this case, there were no such traces. No signs of things scattered or broken.
Salim: Referring to the battery (BlackBerry telephone), does the condition of the battery show it exploded?
Abdul Halim: Negative, (only) the physical condition (external) that was bad compared to the internal condition. This shows that the battery (of the telephone) did not explode or cause any fire. The form of the battery could still be identified.
Meanwhile, when asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Asyraf Ashy’ri Kamaruzzaman why he did not agree with the animation how the incident happened as submitted by the defence in court, Abdul Halim said it was because the position of the evidence in the film was not the same as what he had found.
He said the animation film showed the victim’s handphone was by his side whereas when conducting the investigation, the device was found at a different location.
In fact, Abdul Halim said, he too did not find the ‘power bank’ when investigating the location of the incident and it was different from the animation submitted by the defence counsel which showed the device was on the victim’s bed.
“In my investigation on the victim’s mattress, there was definitely no remnant of a powerbank or any burnt handphone except the BlackBerry,” he said.
On June 15, 2018, the media reported a fire occurred in Nazrin’s bedroom which led to his death due to an explosion of a handphone whether of the Blackberry or Huawei type that was being charged near the victim’s bed.
However, on Aug 3, 2018, police classified the case of Nazrin’s death as a murder case based on the report by the Fire Brigade as well as the autopsy report.
On March 12 this year, Samirah who was also a former senior executive at the Perbadanan Harta Intelek Malaysia, and two of her teenage sons aged 17 and 14 were charged together with an Indonesian national, Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, with the murder of Nazrin.
They were charged with allegedly committing the offence at a house at Mutiara Homes, Mutiara Damansara, between 11.30 pm on June 13, 2018 and 4 am on June 14, 2018.
The charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read together with Section 34 of the same act, provides for a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.