While Malaysia’s most recent headline-grabbing criminal proceedings have centered around former Prime Minister Najib Razak, his family, and the (alleged!) missing billions between them, another high-profile trial is set to get into full gear according to Malaysian state news agency, Bernama.
Samirah Muzzaffar, widow of Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan, who was found dead under suspicious circumstances at his home in the Mutiara Damansara neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur, will now stand trial, accused of his murder, along with her sons from a previous marriage. An Indonesian maid, charged in absentia, is still at large.
Sixty witnesses are expected to testify when the trial begins this Friday morning. The defense had previously requested postponement of the trial, as members of her legal team are also involved in the 1MDB trial.
Nazrin’s June 14, 2018, death shocked the closely-knit start-up community, where he was a much-loved figure. Initial claims that he died from an exploding mobile phone were soon dismissed by police as they investigated foul play.
Investigators reclassified the case as murder in August, and later arrested Nazrin’s wife, her first husband, their two teen sons for questioning, as well as the victim’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law. All parties were initially released without charge.
Twists and turns in the case have kept it in the headlines, and in March of this year, police formally charged Samirah, her two teenage sons, and the missing Indonesian maid in connection with her husband’s death.
Sporting a new look since the criminal tides against her have turned, Samirah has been free on bail, awaiting proceedings to begin. At the time, she was forced to surrender her passport, and check in to a police station every two weeks. Her sons were also granted bail.
Samirah, 44, was also bound to her home between 6pm in the evening and 8am the following morning, banned from public places, and could not attend public functions, save for family gatherings and religious matters. She was not allowed to leave the Kuala Lumpur and suburban Petaling Jaya area.
At the time, the presiding judge ruled that the defendant was not at risk of witness tampering, and had young children at home to care for while awaiting her day in court.
Previously, Samirah had written a lengthy statement in August on last year, addressing the media and public, maintaining that initial autopsy reports were consistent with injuries sustained from an exploding phone, and asking for transparency in the case’s investigations.
In the months leading to his death, the CEO had reportedly received death threats.