SHAH ALAM: The High Court here was told that three out of four samples of burnt materials submitted to the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department’s Fire Investigation Laboratory on June 17 showed residue of a petrol-based flammable liquid.
The prosecution’s 14th witness in the murder trial of former Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan, Chemistry officer Aznor Sheda Samsudin, 38, said another sample submitted to her for analysis showed no flammable material residue.
The samples were retrieved from the charred room in which Nazrin’s remains were discovered.
Aznor Sheda said she heated four nylon bags containing the burnt samples in an oven at 90 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes for the vapourisation process of the residue to take place.
"The resulting vapour was absorbed by using the 'Solid Phase Micro Extraction' (SPME) and it was then tested with the 'Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer' (GCMS)," she said, adding that nylon bags were used because they are inert and have no chemical reaction when heated-up.
She conducted two analyses of each sample, as required by the Fire and Rescue Department.
Aznor Sheda said the report on the analysis was handed over to Fire Officer Abdul Halim Zulkefeli on June 21, 2018; while three samples of the petrol residue were submitted to fire investigators on Aug 17 of the same year, after the matter became a court case.
She said she did not detect any scent of petrol when she received the burnt samples from the scene of the fire.
Based on her experience, she said samples with petrol residue need not necessarily have the smell of fuel.
"We accepted the samples in the form of burnt residue. If I received samples or materials in the form of liquids such as petrol, I would not say it was petrol until I had analysed the material and confirmed that it was indeed petrol.
“Smell is not a parameter in my test. Petrol has the characteristics to fill up space.
When petrol is poured onto any material, it will fill up the space.
"When a fire is lit, it will use petrol to light up (the fire). Examples of such fire residue is in the form of ashes and charcoal, which had been completely consumed (by fire),” she said.
Aznor Sheda said even though the fire had completely consumed (the material), remains of the petrol composition would be present on the sample or the evidence.
She added that this evidence was what was heated up to remove the trapped steam from the samples.
Aznor Sheda said this during examination by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Asnawi Abu Hanipah before judge Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is leading the defence team.
She was giving evidence against Nazrin’s wife, Samirah Muzaffar, 44; two minors aged 17 and 14; and Indonesian Eka Wahyu Lestari, who is still at large, who are charged with murdering him.
They are alleged to have committed the offence at Mutiara Homes, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, between 11.30pm on June 13, 2018, and 4am the following day.
They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.