Barely a week after the Malaysian police reclassified the death of Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan in a fire accident as possible murder, his widow has come out in the open alleging inconsistencies in the investigation.
Accusing the authorities of keeping her and her family in the dark, Samirah Muzaffar has also pointed out disparities between media reports on the death and official statements from the fire and rescue department and the police.
“It has been a trying period of close to two months for me and the children. In respecting the ongoing investigations, I have refrained from issuing any statement or talking to the media, but my family and I are deeply distressed by recent media reports on the tragic demise of my beloved husband, Nazrin Hassan, on June 14,” she said in a statement.
“These reports, it is pertinent to point out, contain official quotes and statements from the authorities involved in the investigation, namely the Fire and Rescue Department and the Malaysian police,” she added.
According to her, these reports are inconsistent with the findings of the report on the postmortem examination on Hassan issued by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), on Aug 2. The report, which is in her possession, states that he sustained a blunt penetrating injury at the left parietal region. This wound was associated with a severe degree of head injury, she said.
“It also states that ‘multiple smaller blunt penetrating injuries of various sizes were found on his face, neck, chest, left shoulder and back of left hand bearing the pattern of shrapnel injuries’. The postmortem report then concludes that the cause of death is ‘complication of blast and blunt penetrating injuries’. The autopsy conducted by a senior pathologist in HKL explicitly detailed the cause of the demise of my late husband,” she noted.
She claims that the postmortem report makes no mention of “traces of petrol on his head” or on any other part of Hassan. “I would like to also reiterate here that contrary to media reports, my late husband was not on any form of medication. The laboratory analysis in the postmortem report further confirms that no common drugs, volatile substances and/or alcohol were found in my late husband.”
Muzaffar, who is a senior executive at the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO), said her family and she have been cooperative with the authorities as they would like to see closure of the entire tragic episode. She added she has sought information on certain missing items and personal belongings of Hassan as a result of the incident.
“I have lodged police reports pertaining to the investigations and missing items since June. I have been writing to the Fire and Rescue Department requesting updates but the family and I have been kept mostly in the dark. I have been told by the Fire and Rescue Department that the report by the department cannot be given to me because Nazrin’s death is a high profile case,” she said.
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She has however said that there is no provision in the law that denies the family of the victim, especially the next of kin, access to documents because of the status of the case. “I have again written to the fire department and appealed for a copy of the report. I am not aware of any provision in the law that denies the family of the victim, especially the next of kin, access to documents because of the status of the case. However, there have been no less than four statements made to the media by the fire department in relation to the tragedy.”
In its sparse communication with her, she alleges, the fire department has made claims which are patently untrue, namely that it had taken control of the premises, specifically the room where the death occurred, from June 14 to 19. After 5pm on June 14 itself, the family was informed that it could access the room as well as clean the said room. “And yet, the fire department produced a letter on June 19 which was backdated to the June 14. Acts of this sort which transgress established procedures erode our confidence in the authorities.”
“As most would know, my late husband, Nazrin Hassan, led his life with integrity, honesty and professionalism, and I seek that the investigations in relation to his death also be conducted with the highest standards of ethics, transparency and accountability,” she said concluding the statement.
Hassan passed away on June 14 after fire caught his bedroom at a two-storey house in Mutiara Damansara. The cause of fire was initially thought to be an accident, when his mobile phone exploded during charging.