Samirah Muzaffar who has been charged with murdering her husband, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle Fund) CEO Nazrin Hassan, is willing to fulfil strict conditions imposed by the court in order for her to be released on bail pending the trial, the Court of Appeal heard today.
Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is representing Samirah, submitted that his client would adhere to all requirements such as to stay in her house for 24 hours and to report to the nearest police station every day as part of her bail conditions.
“She is willing to take any kind of strict condition for bail. Even if she's confined for 24 hours in her apartment, as long as she is able to be with her children, especially to take care of her two-year-old and four-year-old.
“In fact, she is willing to report to the police station on a daily basis because she has to be with her children. She is a mother of four and the eldest will sit for the SPM examination in November,” said Shafee before a three-man panel chaired by Justice Kamardin Hashim.
Samirah is appealing against the High Court’s refusal to grant her bail pending the trial of her case, which will start on Sept 3.
On March 12, Samirah, 44, a former senior executive at Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO); two teenagers aged 14 and 17; 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 Putrajaya, between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am 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.
On March 27, the two teenage boys were allowed bail of RM50,000 in two sureties each.
Shafee submitted that the High Court judge was inconsistent in his decision when he allowed bail for the two teenagers but refused to grant bail for Samirah on the grounds that there was the possibility of influencing witnesses, who are among family members.
Shafee said Samirah (photo) was charged in court nine months after the incident which he described as “an accident” and that before that she was remanded to assist into the investigations and later released on police bail.
“There was no complaint that she had interfered with witnesses for nine months; if she wanted to interfere, she could have done that a long time ago,” he said.
Shafee also read out parts of two pathologist reports, police and Fire and Rescue Department reports as well as Samirah’s affidavit to which Justice Kamardin reminded him not to go into the merits of the case as this was an appeal over a motion for bail application.
Reading the affidavit, Shafee said his client dismissed speculation that the incident happened because of financial benefit, adding that “his client has been a working woman, a lawyer. She has been supporting the family and she is more stable financially than her husband (Nazrin).
To this, Justice Kamardin asked on the motive for the murder and Shafee replied: “No, zero motive”.
Deputy public prosecutor Jamil Aripin, citing a court ruling in former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal, said that appellate intervention was only warranted when the trial judge (High Court) had committed an error of law and facts.
Najib had appealed to quash a High Court ruling granting the public prosecutor to withdraw a certificate to transfer his seven charges over SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million from the Sessions Court to the High Court but failed.
Jamil said the High Court judge, having considered submissions and affidavits as well as all important and material facts, had exercised his discretion not to grant bail.
“We submit that there was no error in law and facts by the High Court to warrant any appellate intervention,” he said.
To this, Justice Kamardin queried Jamil if the court granted bail, would it prejudice the prosecution’s case.
Jamil replied that in most murder cases which carry the death penalty, the accused would never be granted bail unless there were exceptional and special circumstances.
“It would not be fair to others charged under Section 302 who are held on remand unless you have special exceptional reasons. In Balwant Singh’s case, there was self-defence and taking into account the age of the accused at that time. So he was granted bail.
“But what are the special circumstances in this present case?” he said.
In the Balwant Singh case in 2003, the lawyer was found not guilty by a High Court on a charge of murdering a despatch rider in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, on the grounds that he had acted in self-defence.
Justice Kamardin, who presided over the appeal with Justices Rhodzariah Bujang and Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, fixed May 10 to continue hearing of the submissions.