SHAH ALAM - The widow of Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan and two teenage boys pleaded not guilty in the High Court on Tuesday (March 12) to the murder of the man last June, Bernama news agency reported.
Samirah Muzaffar, 44, a former senior executive at Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), and the two boys aged 13 and 16, entered the plea after the charge was read out separately to them before Judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman.
Samirah, the two teenagers and Indonesian national Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, were charged with the murder of 47-year-old Nazrin at a house in Mutiara Homes between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am on June 14, 2018.
The charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code and read in conjunction with Section 34 of the same code, provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Samirah - the daughter of prominent political scientist Chandra Muzaffar - and the boys were arrested on March 4 at their home.
The Indonesian maid is believed to have returned to her home country to avoid arrest.
Mr Nazrin was found dead on June 14 last year with 30 per cent burns on his body after a fire at his double-storey house in Mutiara Damansara, a suburb in Selangor about 15km from the capital.
Quoting his family members, local media had reported that he had complained of a migraine before going to bed.
Mr Nazrin was initially believed to have died from smoke inhalation after his mobile phone, which was charging while he was napping, exploded and caused a fire.
However, police reclassified the case as murder after investigations by the Fire and Rescue Department found traces of petrol at the scene, suggesting that the incident was orchestrated. It led to his remains being exhumed on Oct 8 for a second post-mortem.
Another surprise revelation reported by the media was that the police had picked up one of the two underage boys for questioning in September, after a puncture wound - believed to be caused by an arrow - was found on Mr Nazrin's neck.
Quoting unnamed sources, The Malay Mail Online said the boys were members of their school's archery club.
Samirah and her former husband were also picked up by the police in September and detained for questioning. They were released after a week, when their remand order expired.
Cradle is a Finance Ministry company that helps develop entrepreneurs and the Malaysian start-up ecosystem.
It was the agency that gave early funding to companies such as ride-hailing pioneer Grab (previously MyTeksi) and fintech start-up iMoney.
Mr Nazrin leaves a young son with Samirah, three stepsons, and another son from a previous marriage.