Malaysia court denies bail to Cradle CEO's widow accused of murder

PHOTO: Facebook/Nazrin Hassan

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - The widow of Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan, who is accused of his murder, has failed to secure bail.

The High Court here denied bail for Samirah Muzaffar, 44, after hea­ring submissions from both parties.

Justice Ab Karim Ab Rahman said if the accused was released on bail, there was a danger of witnesses being tampered with.

"The witnesses are among family members. There is the probability that they could be harassed," he said in his decision.

On this issue, Justice Ab Karim said the censorship was done partially.

"But the entire content of the letter must have reached its meaning.

"This should not prohibit client-lawyer relation and it is imp­ossible that the applicant could not have prepared her defence (because of this)," he said here yesterday.

The judge then dismissed the application and ordered for Sami­rah to remain in remand.

Muhammad Shafee informed the court that he would appeal against the decision at the Court of Appeal.

Earlier, he submitted that the applicant should be released on bail as she had "no free means" to communicate with her lawyers.

"The right to a fair trial is also to communicate with counsel. That is critical.

"My client is only given 45 minutes a week to meet her counsel," he said.

He revealed that Samirah's letters to her lawyers have been censored by a prison officer.

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In a reply by the prison officer, Muhammad Shafee said the prison cited a prison rule as the basis for the censorship.

"Some of the grounds for censorship are interests of national security, securing the prison security and the prevention and detection of crime.

"But nothing of that sort has been raised about her.

"What the officer has done was this, she read the letter and did the censorship as she liked.

"Can the applicant, in an intellig­ent fashion, give instructions to her lawyers?" he said, adding that Sami­rah was willing to wear an electronic monitor if she was granted bail.

DPP Datuk Jamil Aripin said the defence had not proven an exceptional excuse for the applicant to be granted bail.

He said there was a danger and pro­­b­ability the accused might abs­cond, and probability of witness tampering.

"Even if she is not out on bail she can still see her lawyers. Her right to counsel will never be denied," he said.

Last month, Samirah, 44, and two teenagers, 13 and 16, claimed trial for the murder of Nazrin.

The trio were charged together with Indonesian Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large.

All four were accused of murdering Nazrin, 47, at a house in Mutiara Damansara, between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day.

The two teenage boys were allowed bail at RM50,000 (S$16,400) in two sureties for each of them.

The case is fixed for mention on June 21. Trial is set for Sept 3.