Defence claims wife had no motive to murder Cradle Fund CEO

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The High Court was told today that there was no reason for former Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan’s wife, Samirah Muzaffar, to murder him four years ago.

Yusof Mat Isa

Lawyer Rahmat Mohamed Hazlan, representing Samirah and two teenagers in Nazrin’s murder case, said “ample” evidence in the case showed that the couple had a good relationship.

“In fact, they celebrated their wedding anniversary a few weeks before he died on June 13, 2018,” he said in the defence’s closing submissions.

“On that day, the family ‘buka puasa’ together. These facts remain unrebutted by the prosecution.”

Samirah and the two teenagers, along with Indonesian Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is at large, are accused of murdering Nazrin at their home in Mutiara Damansara on June 14, 2018.

The two teenagers cannot be identified as they were minors at the time of the alleged crime.

Rahmat told the court the prosecution wanted to paint a picture of the couple being in a “bad relationship”, and they contended that Samirah would benefit financially after Nazrin’s death.

“She (Samirah) did not know that he had an insurance policy under Cradle Fund.

“It was Cradle Fund’s human resources manager, Natasya Aziaton Maulad Abdul Aziz, who initiated the conversation with her on the insurance and asked her to provide documents so that the insurance could be processed,” he said.

Rahmat said the prosecution sought to rely on the evidence of the deceased’s brother, Dr Abdul Aziz Hassan that the reason Samirah obtained the post-mortem report was so she could apply for monetary benefit from Nazrin’s insurance.

However, this allegation was proven to be completely baseless as Natasya testified that Samirah had never put in an application nor even asked for the amount, Rahmat noted.

Most importantly, Rahmat said, Natasya said that Nazrin never named a beneficiary for his insurance.

He said the prosecution also relied on hearsay evidence from a friend of Nazrin to show the couple was in a “bad relationship”.

“We cross-examined the witness in question (Eliza Elias), to which she agreed, that it was normal for couples to have some problems,” he said.

Rahmat said the prosecution tried to paint a picture of conspiracy between Samirah and one of the teenagers over a “what’s the plan” text message following Nazrin’s death.

The teenager had texted Samirah to inform her that his biological father had called him.

“We cross-examined the investigating officer (Nizam Daud) on what the message really meant and he said that based on the boy’s recorded statement, ‘what’s the plan’ was actually a reference on celebrating Hari Raya with the boy’s father.

“The prosecution never called the father and chose to spin illogical stories out of thin air,” he said.

When trial judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman asked the defence about Eka’s whereabouts, lead counsel Shafee Abdullah said the maid was in the country after Samirah and the boys were charged in court on March 5, 2019.

However, he said, the police did not make attempts to find Eka and it was Samirah who found her on Facebook.

“She was working in Kuching but the police did not bother to trace her,” he said.

The hearing continues on April 8 when deputy public prosecutor Asnawi Abu Hanipah will respond to the defence.