KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — A lawyer representing Samirah Muzaffar in the murder trial of a former Cradle Fund chief executive and a photographer have reportedly made up after their brief but intense scuffle in the Shah Alam High Court earlier.
However, a report by news portal The Vibes quoted the Utusan Malaysia photographer involved Zulfadhli Zaki as saying that the lawyer, S. Suresh, had arrived to lodge his police report at the same Section 9 police station in Shah Alam where the former lodged his, and that the two had apologised to each other.
“Both sides have said sorry, and we have forgiven each other but we will be going through with our respective reports,” he said, adding that his media card will be handed over to the investigating officer in charge of S. Suresh’s case.
Zulfadhli reportedly said that the incident should not have happened, as he was only carrying out his duties as a photographer.
“He (Suresh) had no authority to aggressively grab my personal belongings.
“He is a lawyer, not a bodyguard. I was just trying to do my job,” he said, reportedly admitting that he had reacted by hitting the lawyer on the forehead with his camera in an act of self-defence after an attempt was made to grab his media tag.
National news agency Bernama reported that the altercation happened in the court lobby when Suresh was reportedly obstructed from entering the courtroom by the photographers on duty.
In a press conference, at the court, Bernama reported Samirah’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as saying that during the incident, Suresh was hit on the head with a photographer’s camera.
“It was either done on purpose or accidentally. Clearly, there are two cuts, but luckily, he’s okay. I had asked for police escort earlier on so that this sort of thing will not happen,” he said.
The High Court acquitted Samirah and two teenagers of murdering Nazrin Hassan in 2019.
Judge Ab Karim Ab Rahman said the prosecution failed to successfully prove a prima facie case against Samirah and the two teenagers who are now aged 19 and 16.
The trio and an Indonesian woman, Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is at large, were charged on March 12, 2019, with murdering Nazrin at his house in Mutiara Damansara between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day. The hearing began on September 6, 2019.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) cautioned any parties against obstructing media personnel on duty and denounced any physical acts against members of the media fraternity.
It also advised media members to refrain from any provocative actions or attacks, unless in situations which warrant self-defence.
Geramm also repeated its call to form the Malaysia Media Council as a self-regulatory body and for the enactment of laws to protect the rights of journalists in carrying out their duties.
“It should be noted, the media can publish pictures and names of any accused in any case, except in cases involving juveniles. In this case, the lawyer representing the accused should inform if there is any consideration to protect the identity of the suspect," Geramm added.