SHAH ALAM, Oct 3 — One of the juveniles accused of murdering Cradle Fund chief executive Nazrin Hassan alleged that police used intimidation to try and extract his confession while he had been in their custody September last year, the High Court heard today.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is representing the 14-year old accused who cannot be legally identified, produced a copy of a police report filed by the accused at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail police station on September 22, 2018.
According to the report, the accused claimed that he had been interrogated by three to five police officers who allegedly offered him earlier release from his remand of between September 9 and 12 last year in return for information.
“I was told to cooperate and tell them things and they will let me out early. The IO Nizam on the first day said if all okay the police will prepare a jaminan (guarantee) for me to go back home.
“After being released from remand, I realised that the police was lying to me as I never knew that police are allowed to lie to children,” Muhammad Shafee said to the court as he read out the contents of the report.
The accused said, among others, the police were untruthful when they “bad-mouthed” his mother, Samirah Muzaffar, who was also charged with Nazrin's murder.
On the forced confession, the accused said the police asked him to admit to cutting up Nazrin's old T-shirt after they purported to have a witness of him doing so.
The police report was raised during cross-examination of prosecution witness, Inspector Anestassia Chin Fat, who later confirmed she was the officer in charge of recording the statement of the juvenile accused on September 11, 2018.
When asked by Muhammad Shafee if she knew of the report alleging police mistreatment, she said she did not.
Later when asked if she agreed that a juvenile must be accorded protection by the police, she replied in the affirmative.
During the cross-examination, Anestassia also confirmed she had asked the accused to read the written report based on the statements provided after Muhammad Shafee pointed out in the police report the accused expressed worry that his statement would be used falsely.
“His statements were not amended either,” she said.
Muhammad Shafee also suggested to Anestassia the absence of an adult during the minor’s statement recording session and whether she had informed the accused of this, to which the witness replied she was not sure of it.
Asked by deputy public prosecutor Ashyraf Ashyari Kamaruzaman whether the allegations was raised during the statement recording session, Anestassia said the accused did not complain about the sessions with the investigating officers.
“In fact, when I was taking his statement he was not in a pressured state and we communicated in Bahasa Malaysia which both of us could understand,” she said during re-examination by the prosecution.
When asked further on why no adult was asked to accompany the accused during the recording session, Anestassia said the need for an adult companion is not necessary if the child was able to provide consistent their statement consistently.
Samirah, two teenage boys aged 17 and 14, as well as an Indonesian, Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with Nazrin’s murder at a home in the Mutiara Homes neighbourhood between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018 and 4am the following day.
All four are charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read with Section 34 of the same Act, which provides for the mandatory death sentence if found guilty.
The hearing before High Court judge Datuk Ab. Karim Ab. Rahman resumes at 9am tomorrow.