Appeals Court upholds acquittal of Samirah, two teens

By – Thiruselvam

Appeals Court upholds acquittal of Samirah, two teens

The Court of Appeal here on Thursday (Feb 8) upheld the acquittal of Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers on a charge of murdering Cradle Fund chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan six years ago.

A three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera in a unanimous decision, dismissed the prosecution’s appeal to set aside a High Court verdict in acquitting and discharging the three of them on the murder charge.

The other two judges presiding on the bench were Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk Azhahari Kamal Ramli.

On June 21, 2022, the Shah Alam High Court freed Samirah, 49, who is also Nazrin’s widow, and the two teenagers, now aged 18 and 21, of murdering Nazrin after finding that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the three of them at the end of its case.

The three of them and an Indonesian woman, Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with killing Nazrin, 45, at his house in Mutiara Damansara between 11.30 pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day.

Justice Vazeer Alam, when reading out the decision, said the prosecution failed to prove the murder case as the evidence was circumstantial and there was evidence by witnesses that the relationship between the deceased and the respondents (Samirah and two teenagers) was good.

He said the ‘the last seen theory’ raised by the prosecution was to show some connection between the respondents to the death of the deceased.

“In this regard, the learned trial judge quite correctly found that the failure to prove the time of the deceased death and ‘the last seen theory’ cannot be applied to prove the connection between the respondents with the deceased’s death.

“Further, we found that the prosecution did not tender any cogent evidence of motive on the part of any of the respondents to kill the deceased,” he said.

Justice Vazeer Alam also said the allegation raised by the prosecution on financial motive, the intention by the deceased to divorce Samirah and the bad relationship between the deceased with the second and third respondents was also unclear.

“It is well settled that when relying on motive, it must be satisfactorily proven on clear evidence. Motive evidence must be clear and not vague.

“In fact, contrary to the assertion by the prosecution, there was evidence by the driver and personal assistant of the deceased on the good relations between the deceased and Samirah,” the judge said.

Justice Vazeer Alam also pointed out that the evidence of text messages in Samirah’s phone a few days before the deceased’s death showed a normal and intimate relationship between husband and wife.

The court found there was no common intention between the three respondents, as well as their former maid, to murder Nazrin, he said.

The judge noted that while the authorities claimed the former maid was at large, she was actually in Kuching, Sarawak, but the police never attempted to arrest her.

Regarding the High Court’s finding that the fire was not accidental, but “deliberately done”, Justice Vazeer Alam said the panel agreed that there was no sufficient evidence to prove the fire was deliberately done.

There was contradicting evidence from the Chemical Department of Malaysia and the Fire and Rescue Department’s investigators on the matter, he said.

The judge also said that the testimony surrounding the petrol and the analysis done on it were not using certified methods and the investigators had skipped crucial steps needed for the analysis of the petrol.

The court also found that there was no possible reason to move the body from the bed to the floor if the intention was to destroy evidence of the crime by deliberately causing the fire, he said.

On June 30, 2022, Samirah and the teenagers filed an appeal to challenge certain findings of fact by the High Court, including the finding that the fire which broke out in Nazrin’s room was “done deliberately”.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, represented Samirah and the two teenagers, while the prosecution team was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim.- Bernama

Source – THE STAR

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