Murdered Cradle CEO’s widow didn’t seem sad at his death, fireman tells court

Damansara Fire and Rescue Department fireman Mohamad Afzan Majid is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Damansara Fire and Rescue Department fireman Mohamad Afzan Majid is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, Oct 2 — Samirah Muzaffar did not exhibit any signs of grief as expected of someone whose husband was trapped in a burning house, the High Court heard at her trial today.

Samirah, a mother of two and widow to former Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd chief executive Nazrin Hassan, is charged with his murder.

Damansara Fire and Rescue Department fireman Mohamad Afzan Majid recalled seeing a Malay woman waving to firefighters who arrived to extinguish the flames that had engulfed the double-storey semi-detached home in Mutiara Damansara, Selangor.

“As we approached her, she claimed herself to be the homeowner and that she was the wife of the victim.

“She said there was a fire on the top floor. At that moment, she was looking casually and did not display any sadness on her face,” he testified for the prosecution.

Mohamad Afzan also affirmed that he was the fireman responsible for extinguishing the fire as he was on hose reel duty that day.

“When we arrived at the scene, I along with two other fireman — acting operations supervisor Tan Hoss and Muhammad Rezza — rushed to the room where the fire was coming.

“At the half-opened room’s entrance, I could not see if there was a corpse inside as the smoke was too thick,” he said, adding that Samirah followed the team.

Mohamad Afzan who said he has extinguished over 500 fires throughout his 22-year career to date, recalled that Samirah’s behaviour was inconsistent with that of a homeowner whose property was burning down and with lives at stake.

“Throughout my experience in putting out fires, the homeowner will immediately leave the premises and wait for us outside.

“Usually, homeowners will cry and wail with grief when it involves victim that were burnt to death.

“This has never happened before,” he told the court.

However, Mohamad Afzan said Samirah attempted to storm into the room while the fire was raging at one point, but he stopped her.

“When the fire was extinguished, I asked her to go downstairs with me as her actions not only jeopardised herself but also disrupted the fire extinguishing process,” he said.

When asked by deputy public prosecutor Ashyraf Ashyari Kamaruzaman on what transpired after, Mohamad Afzan said the accused continued to flail about and demanded to be let into the room.

“Later, when I was informed there was a corpse in the room, the accused begged to be allowed to see her husband’s corpse and I escorted her upstairs after obtaining permission from the operation supervisor.

“She then knelt beside the corpse and kept quiet. She also stood about two feet from the corpse and looked at its head for about five minutes before I asked her to head downstairs,” he said.

Mohamad Afzan said the fire was extinguished within two minutes as the flames were not big.

He said his team then rushed back to the fire station around 4pm after the fire was extinguished at 12.46pm and several police officers have secured the scene.

Samirah Muzaffar is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Samirah Muzaffar is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

During the hearing, Samirah sitting in the dock, could be seen meticulously writing down notes on a notepad while her father Chandra Muzaffar and family members listened attentively.

Later when questioned by defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on the accused’s behaviour, Mohamad Afzan said there was a possibility he may have been too occupied with his job to even notice the accused’s facial expressions.

Shafee: One thing for sure, she did not care about her safety even though it was dangerous and insisted to go in the room to see her husband?

Mohamad Afzan: Yes.

Mohammad Shafee then asked Mohamad Afzan what the accused did at that time as she knelt beside Nazrin’s charred remains that was clad in only an underwear.

“She swayed her head from left to right and then left again slowly without saying anything,” he said.

Asked whether the accused was doing so in disbelief that her husband was dead and under tremendous sadness, Mohamad Afzan said he did not know.

Earlier another witness, police Constable Nor Azura Sulaiman testified in court she was the first emergency responder when she received a call from Nepali security guard Raju Kumar Pandit on June 14.

Constable Nor Azura Sulaiman is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Constable Nor Azura Sulaiman is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Nor Azura said she was attached to the Damansara police station in handling initial calls for emergency and non-emergency situations when the emergency call came through.

“After receiving the call and obtaining the necessary details such as telephone number and the caller’s name, I transferred the call to the Petaling Jaya District Central Command for further action,” she said in her testimony.

She said she subsequently filed a police First Information Report (FIR) based on details obtained from Raju.

Raju previously testified in court that he attempted to break down the room Nazrin was in, damaging the doorknob in the process but failed to gained entry.

Samirah, two juveniles aged 17 and 14, as well as an Indonesian woman who is still at large, Eka Wahyu Lestari, are charged with Nazrin’s murder, said to happen between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018 and 4am the following day.

The murder charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read with Section 34 of the same Act, provides for the mandatory death sentence if found guilty.

The hearing continues before High Court judge Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman at 9am tomorrow.  

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is pictured at the Shah Alam High Court October 2, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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