PUTRAJAYA, Nov 23 — A medical assistant at a hospital today breathed a sigh of relief after the Federal Court upheld his acquittal over the murder of a female religious school clerk in Bukit Pasir, Muar, six years ago.
Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who led a three-member panel said there was no error made by the High Court and Court of Appeal judges in ruling that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Zurailie Muhamad, 36.
“Therefore, the public prosecutor’s appeal was rejected. The decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal is affirmed,” said Tengku Maimun who presided with Federal Court Judges Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal.
The Public Prosecutor appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal on November 6, 2019, which upheld Zurailie’s acquittal after the Johor Baru High Court acquitted and discharged him on January 28, 2018, without being called to enter his defence at the end of the prosecution case.
Zurailie was charged with murdering Nurul Shahira Mohamed Yatim, 29, who was his neighbour, at her house in Jalan Sungai Terap, Muar, between 2.05pm and 2.30pm on November 16, 2015, under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries a death penalty if convicted.
The High Court judge had ruled that the prosecution could not prove the presence of Zurailie’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profile on the victim’s body and clothes and there were loopholes in the prosecution case.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Faizah Mohd Salleh submitted that there was sufficient evidence that could link the respondent (Zurailie) to the victim’s death.
“A prosecution’s witness stated that the respondent owed money to his friend and a day after the incident (murder), the respondent handed over the deceased’s mobile phone to an individual to pay off his debt besides selling the deceased’s jewellery at a gold shop for RM1,000,” she said adding the man’s action in escaping police custody during interrogation also raised doubts.
Faizah submitted that the respondent’s action in persuading the deceased’s husband repeatedly, not to allow the post-mortem examination to be performed on his wife was odd because as an individual working in the medical field, he should have known the importance of a post-mortem.
She said a prosecution witness had testified that the deceased’s husband had gone to work in the morning of the incident, adding that the murder occurred at around 2.30pm when the husband was still at his workplace in Ulu Tiram, Johor Baru.
Zurailie’s lawyer, Nahdan Rengganathan Abdullah argued that there was no evidence to show his client’s involvement in injuring and killing the deceased.
“The DNA report did not show the presence of the respondent’s blood or DNA on the body or clothes of the deceased nor was the blood or DNA of the deceased found on the respondent’s body or clothes which were confiscated by the police,” he said.
Nahdan said the investigating officer also failed to conduct a detailed investigation on issues related to the deceased’s jewellery and mobile phone allegedly sold by the respondent.
“Bebas (Free),” said Zurailie when met by the media after the proceedings. — Bernama