Thursday, May 19, 2022

Prosecution yet to establish prima facie case in death of Cradle Fund CEO, defence says

Defence lawyers say they have shown 'indisputable evidence' that those accused of his murder had a good relationship with him up until his death.

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The prosecution in the murder case of Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan has not been able to establish a prima facie case against the accused – his widow Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers – the Shah Alam High Court was told today.

Counsel Rahmat Hazlan said the arguments and evidence adduced by the prosecution had in fact been thrown into disarray by the defence.

“We have exposed the lack of credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses, their inconsistent statements and biased testimonies.

“After 57 witnesses and more than three years of trial, the defence submits that a prima facie case has not been made out against the accused persons, individually or jointly,” he said in his submission at the end of the prosecution’s case before judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman.

Samirah, 47, and two teenagers, now aged 19 and 16, as well as an Indonesian woman still at large, Eka Wahyu Lestari, are charged with murdering Nazrin at his house in Mutiara Damansara, between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018 and 4am the following day.

Rahmat also submitted that the defence had been able to show indisputable evidence that the accused persons and the deceased had maintained a good relationship right to the end as evident at the family’s breaking-of-fast event on the day before the murder.

“Samirah and the deceased also went for Hari Raya shopping on June 11 and 13, like a normal loving couple,” he said.

Rahmat said when the tragedy took place on June 14, the authorities had cleared the incident of any foul play as did the K-9 unit, and the house and room were returned to Samirah on the same day.

“A senior pathologist Dr Siew Sheue Feng who is the 46th prosecution witness (PW46) and his team of doctors found that the injuries bore the pattern of blast injuries and a fire and rescue department (FRD) officer confirmed that there was in fact a handphone blast. Devoid of any suspicion, police classified the tragedy as sudden death.

“However, the FRD science officer, Aznor Sheda Shamsuddin (PW14), made a single-handed decision in her unaccredited lab by using her own selective and misguided methods, without complying with any standards or SOPs, to find petrol in three samples that were allegedly taken from the room,” he said.

Rahmat said the alleged petrol findings by PW14, without counter check with any other chemist from the chemistry department, was the turning point for the reclassification of the case as murder, adding that it was done wrongly and carelessly.

“Had there been petrol, the two K-9 unit dogs would have sniffed the slightest trace of petrol, the chemistry department would have also found petrol in some of the samples, and the five doctors at Hospital Kuala Lumpur would have smelt the petrol during the post-mortem done on the day itself.

“PW46 repeatedly testified that only a blast could explain all of the injuries. The second pathologist, Dr Prashant Naresh Samberkar (PW50), could only explain a few injuries on a heavily decomposed body, and his testimony in court was riddled with illogical findings and bias,” he added.

Rahmat said that taken as a whole, the prosecution’s theory did not make sense.

“They say the accused persons wanted to dispose of the evidence, but the body was not found on the burnt bed. It does not make sense to leave the body on the floor if your intention is to destroy evidence, they should have burnt the body on the bed.

“The prosecution also said there was lots of blood on the bed and that was why the bed was burnt. However there was no evidence at all that there was blood on the bed,” he said.

Meanwhile, lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that Eka, the fugitive maid who was charged together with the accused persons, was never brought in despite the police having multiple opportunities to do so.

“ASP Mohd Nizam Daud (PW57), who is the investigating officer, agreed that the police had not thoroughly pursued their investigation into the Indonesian woman during cross-examination.

“What was evident and undisputed is that Eka was in fact in Kuching, Sarawak, working at a kopitiam. In spite of this, the police never made any attempt to arrest her. PW57 finally admitted that the police were never serious about pursuing a case against her,” he said.

The prosecution will start its submission tomorrow.

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