PETALING JAYA: The lawyers representing the widow of Cradle Fund chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan are urging caution over the exhumation of his body.
Lawyer L.S Leonard, who represents Samirah Muzaffar, said his client and her family fully supports the ongoing investigation into Nazrin's death and they have been offering their fullest cooperation to the authorities, namely the Fire and Rescue Department and the police.
"However, it is pertinent to note that the exhumation of a deceased's body is a serious matter from the legal point of view as well as Islamic rights, reference is made to the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
"As a qualified Advocate and Solicitor (presently not in practice), our client would like to ensure that any process to reopen a grave must be conducted in accordance with the rule of law, existing procedures and highest standards of ethics," he said in a statement, ahead of the exhumation of Nazrin's body on Monday (Oct 8).
"Any decision by the courts would create a precedent in many issues including in relation to the safeguards to be adhered to when exhuming a body by the police in any investigations.
"It also creates a precedence in the need to direct subsequent post-mortems on a body from a government hospital that has conducted a comprehensive autopsy on; and rights of any family member or interested party who are not medical specialists or forensic pathologists to seek subsequent autopsies in light of an existing post-mortem report," he said.
Samirah's revision of the Petaling Jaya magistrate court's order dated Oct 1 to exhume her husband's body for purposes of a second post mortem resulted in the High Court concurring that wrong provisions of law were presented to the magistrate.
"The High Court Judge, amongst others, also allowed our client's requests for a religious authority as well an independent forensic pathologist to be present during of the exhumation, reburial and post mortem processes," he said.
However, his client believes that any error of law and wrong procedures in the exhumation process will not only impede the investigation into the death of her late husband but will cause serious miscarriage of justice to his rights as deceased person and the sanctity of his grave, he added.
"On the contrary, our client is confident that these legal reviews will bolster the transparency and accountability needed in the ongoing probe," he said.
Nazrin, who died in a fire at his home on June 14, was found with 30% burns to his body at the upper floor of his double-storey house.
The police had reclassified the case as murder following a forensic investigation by the Fire and Rescue Department.
Several people have since been remanded and released in the murder investigation, including Nazrin's wife and her ex-husband, a married couple related to his widow, and two teenagers.