KUALA LUMPUR: A 36-year-old Shah Alam city council engineer has been charged with the murder of 22-year-old account executive Noritta Samsudin, capping a three-week-long high-profile police investigation.
Hanif Basree Abdul Rahman, arrested three days after the murder on Dec 5, was brought to the court complex in Jalan Raja here at 8.30am and charged before Magistrate Rosli Ahmad an hour and a half later.
Handcuffed and wearing a dark collared T-shirt and blue jeans, Hanif Basree was led into Rosli’s courtroom and was put into an enclosure together with the accused in other cases.
His case was the first to be called. He calmly walked out of the enclosure to stand in front of the magistrate and a court interpreter read out the charge.
The charge read that he killed Noritta, 22, at the Puncak Prima Condominium in Sri Hartamas, here, between 1.30am and 4am on Dec 5.
The charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the mandatory death sentence.
No plea was recorded from Hanif Basree.
After the charge was read, he walked back to the enclosure and waited until about noon for the other cases to be heard.
From the enclosure he made occasional glances at the public gallery where his father and several family members were seated. The family watched without showing much emotion.
They left after Hanif Basree was led out of the courtroom.
During the proceedings, DPP Stanley Augustin handed a consent letter to Rosli to transfer the case immediately to the High Court to which the latter agreed. No mention date was fixed.
The tall and big-sized Hanif Basree towered over the policemen escorting him out of the courtroom just after 3.15pm. He was then taken to Sungai Buloh Prison pending further mention of the case.
Counsel V. Sithambaram and N. Rajivan represented Hanif Basree, who is a vice-president of the Malaysia Volleyball Association.
At a Hari Raya gathering, city police chief Datuk Dell Akbar Khan said police considered the case solved with the charging of Hanif Basree.
Police also released yesterday a 32-year-old broker, a 38-year-old entrepreneur and two security guards of the condominium who had been detained in the course of investigations.
Noritta was found naked and with her mouth gagged by her housemate. Her legs and hands were bound with a bra and wires.
In the initial part of investigations, two others detained together with Hanif Basree were Noritta’s two housemates who found her body. Five others were detained days later to assist in the probe.
Samples of blood, semen and hair follicles were taken from the suspects and sent for DNA tests.