PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry has clarified that the 13 students allowed to continue their education with the Malaysian National Defence University (UPNM) were not charged in the murder case of navy cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain.
In a statement on Saturday, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said confusion arose as there were two groups of 13 students.
"The first group were the ones charged under the Penal Code. They were granted temporary bail while waiting for trial. These students have been suspended from the university and the management is processing their suspension.
"The second group of students are those who have been released on a court bond and were not charged by the authorities. These are the students who were granted permission to pursue their education," he said adding that they will be given counselling and psychological support.
Zulfarhan Osman, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after he was allegedly abused over a laptop theft on May 22.
Following the case, the 13 students, all aged 21, were brought to court on June 14 to face charges under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 which provides for a jail term of seven years and liable to be fined, upon conviction.
Five other UPNM students were charged with the murder of the final-year UPNM navy cadet officer. They face the mandatory death sentence if convicted.