Cradle fund CEO murder: The last seen theory based on assumption - lawyer

05 Sep 2023 03:12pm
Samirah Muzaffar, widow of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd CEO Nazrin Hassan with her lawyer leaving the Court of Appeal of the Palace of Justice.
Samirah Muzaffar, widow of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd CEO Nazrin Hassan with her lawyer leaving the Court of Appeal of the Palace of Justice.

PUTRAJAYA - The Court of Appeal was today told that there was no direct evidence that showed Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers murdered Cradle Fund chief executive officer (CEO) Nazrin Hassan.

Counsel Rahmat Mohamed Hazlan, representing the trio said, the learned High Court judge rightfully found that the prosecution’s reliance on the "last-seen” theory was merely based on an assumption which did not amount to proof.

"The prosecution’s theory is that because the accused persons were the last persons seen with the deceased, the onus then shifts on them to offer an explanation to invalidate any indication that they are responsible for the commission of the crime alleged against them," he said.

According to Rahmat, the accused persons had given a consistent defence despite their statements being recorded numerous times, with two minors having their statements recorded separately in the absence of any adult.

"To the question of when Samirah had last seen Nazrin alive, the woman stated that she last saw him at 9.30am on June 14, 2018, to take her toddler and infant downstairs and had closed the doors without locking them.

"Prior to that, she saw him (Nazrin) at 8.15am, before waking up one of her sons for his archery practice. She had also seen him (Nazrin) at 6.15am, right after having sahur (pre-dawn meal) at 5.25am. This is reflected in her statement recorded three days after the incident, on June 17, 2018," he said, adding that the statements by both teenagers were consistent with Samirah.

Rahmat also submitted that the last-seen theory should be applied by taking into account the case of the prosecution in its entirety.

"Hence, the court has to not only consider the factum of the last seen, but also has to keep in mind the circumstances that preceded and followed from the point of the deceased being so last seen in the presence of the accused," he added.

The lawyer contended that the court should also take into account the nature of the relationship between the accused and the deceased.

Related Articles:

"If there is evidence of good relationship, the evidence of last seen would remain a mere suspicion and it would not be safe to convict solely on that singular piece of evidence," he added.

Yesterday, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim submitted that Samirah and two teenagers were responsible for Nazrin’s death since they were the last persons seen with the deceased (Nazrin).

A three-judge panel led by Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, sitting together with Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk Azhahari Kamal Ramli, set Sept 19 to continue hearing the submission.

On June 21, 2022, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted and discharged Samirah, 48, who is Nazrin's widow and the two teenagers, who are now aged 21 and 18, of murdering Nazrin.

The court acquitted and discharged the three accused after finding that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

Samirah and the two teenagers, as well as an Indonesian woman, Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with murdering Nazrin, 45, at his house in Mutiara Damansara between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day.

On June 23, 2022, the Attorney-General's Chambers filed a notice of appeal against the High Court's decision in acquitting Samirah and the teenagers on the murder charge.

Meanwhile, on June 30, 2022, Samirah and the teenagers filed an appeal to challenge certain findings of facts by the High Court, including the findings that the fire that broke out in Nazrin's room was "done deliberately". - BERNAMA