KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here freed Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers charged with murdering her husband, Cradle Fund chief executive Nazrin Hassan, four years ago.
They were freed without having to enter their defence after Shah Alam High Court Judge Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.
He said there was no direct evidence to show the trio had committed the offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the death sentence.
In his ruling, Karim said even the motive behid Nazrin's murder remained unclear.
"The prosecution implied that insurance money was behind it, but at the same time, they also admitted that the motive in this case was unclear," he said.
Karim said the prosecution had also merely assumed the accused were with Nazrin when he died.
The prosecution, he noted, had failed to even prove the timing of Nazrin's death which allegedly happened between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018 and 4am on June 14, 2018.
He said the prosecution stated that Nazrin had died during this time but this was contradicted by the deceased's sister who testified that he saw her message at 11.50pm.
"The time of death is important as it will not only be a matter that must be proven in court but it will also show who was with the deceased at that moment," he said, adding the prosecution had failed to show conclusively that the three accused were the last persons with the deceased.
Samirah, 47, the two teenagers, now aged 16 and 19, and Indonesian maid Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with murdering Nazrin at their home in Mutiara Damansara on June 14, 2018.
Meanwhile, Samirah's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah when met by reporters at after the ruling, said the defence was prepared should the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) challenge the acquittal and file an appeal.
"If there is an appeal, we will still stand a chance to win because we think the decision will be maintained," he said, adding there were many loopholes in the prosecution's case which had led to his clients' acquittal.
Earlier, there was drama at the courthouse when a shoving match broke out at the court lobby between a photographer and defence counsel S. Suresh.
The lawyer had allegedly shouted at photographers to make way for Samirah before the photographer was seen striking the lawyer with his camera, causing the latter's forehead to bleed.
Nazrin's murder trial started on Sept 6, 2019 and concluded on April 22 this year after the prosecution called 57 witnesses to testify.