Published: Saturday February 9, 2013 MYT 5:26:00 PM
Updated: Saturday February 9, 2013 MYT 11:37:43 PM
Claudia Theophilus' body comes home (Updated)
By JOSEPH SIPALAN
SEPANG: The body of Malaysian journalist Claudia Theophilus arrived home Saturday night, a week after she was killed in a shooting mishap at her friend's home in Lebanon.
The Al-Jazeera producer's remains arrived on an Emirates flight at around 9.40pm at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and was immediately transported back to her family home in Taman Desa Kepayang in Seremban.
Claudia's sister Dora, who returned earlier from Lebanon where she had gone to retrieve her sister's body, said her family was deeply grateful to the Malaysian embassy in Lebanon, Umno Youth's complaints bureau and Al-Jazeera for their help and support.
Reading off a prepared statement earlier in the day, she appealed against continued speculation over circumstances surrounding her sister's death as investigations were ongoing.
"Those who wish to pay their last respects to my sister may attend the wake from Sunday afternoon at the family house.
"The funeral will be held at 10am on Monday at the Church of Visitation in Seremban," she said at a press conference, declining to field questions from journalists.
Umno Youth complaints bureau chairman Datuk Muhammad Khairun Aseh, who organised the mission to retrieve Claudia's body, said the facts of the case gathered by Lebanese authorities indicated that her death was accidental.
Khairun said Claudia was initially holding the air rifle while sitting outside of the family home of her friend, identified only as Nabil, around 2.30am Lebanon time on Feb 2.
"When her friend came out of the house, he apparently took the rifle and tried to extract a bullet (from the chamber) when a shot was fired," he said at a press conference at the KLIA.
Khairun said the Lebanese authorities were still detaining Nabil while they continue with their probe into the incident.
It is understood that Al-Jazeera covered the cost of transporting Claudia's remains home, while the Umno Youth bureau footed the logistics bill for her family.
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