Widow, two teens claim trial to murder of Cradle Fund CEO

The widow of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle Fund) CEO Nazrin Hassan and two teen boys pleaded not guilty in the High Court here today to a charge of murdering Nazrin in June last year.

Samirah Muzaffar, 44, a former senior executive at Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO),  and the two boys, aged 13 and 16, entered the plea after the charge was read out separately to them before Judge Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman.

 Samirah, the two teenagers and Indonesian national Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with the murder of Nazrin, 47, at a house in Mutiara Homes, near here, 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 code, provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The court fixed April 11 for case management.

Samirah, clad in black baju kurung and grey scarf, arrived at the court together with the two teens at 8.30am and was greeted by family members and friends who sat at the public gallery.

Also present was wheelchair-bound political analyst and social activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

During the proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Zain Ibrahim informed the court that statements of 75 witnesses had been recorded, but the prosecution had yet to determine the number of those to be called to testify.

“We are not offering bail to all the accused and we will protest should they apply for bail,” he said.

Lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Samirah, informed the court that he would file a bail application for his client on another date.

He also lodged a complaint that his client had been placed in a separate dark room at the Kajang Prison and was not given a pencil and notebook to make notes on the case.

“We hope the DPP (deputy public prosecutor) will look into this matter. This is the first time I am hearing such a thing happening at the Kajang Prison. My client was only released from the room after the complaint was lodged,” he said.

Mohd Zain replied that the prosecution would notify the prison authorities to ensure that the accused is accorded her rights.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the two teenagers, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, filed a complaint to the court that his 16-year-old client, who is currently being placed at the Sentosa Hostel in Sentul, had been physically and sexually assaulted.

As such he appealed that his client be transferred to the Puncak Alam Corrective School at which his 13-year-old client was being detained.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Jamil Aripin, however, opposed the application on the grounds that the two teenagers had been segregated according to age.

Judge Ab Karim said that he could not issue instructions based solely on the complaint and requested Hisham to officially submit his application.

The court in the meantime upheld the gag order issued earlier by the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court on the media, not to publish the names, photographs and other details that could expose the identities of the minors in any electronic or print media platform.

The Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court had on Oct 1, 2018, allowed the police to exhume Nazrin’s remains for a second post-mortem to assist the police investigation into his death.

On Aug 3 last year, Nazrin’s death was reclassified as murder after an investigation by the Fire and Rescue Department found traces of petrol at the scene of the fire.

It was initially reported that Nazrin had died in a fire caused by an explosion of his mobile phone.

The second autopsy report stated that Nazrin died from head injuries and not from the cell phone explosion.