Adib inquest: Clash over recalling of expert witness to testify


  • Nation
  • Monday, 22 Apr 2019

SHAH ALAM (Bernama): The issue of recalling an expert witness to testify in the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim became a bone of contention during the proceedings.

Inquest conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin, in her argument, urged the court to consider an application to recall the 24th witness, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) forensic expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, 40, who carried out a post-mortem on the firefighter.

She said the court had the discretion under Section 425 of the Criminal Procedure Code to recall relevant witnesses to achieve a fair decision in the inquest.

"The 24th witness is important, because we can still ask him questions that will help the court assess the testimonies in the inquest as a whole," she said before Coroner Rofiah Mohamad here on Monday (April 22).

Faten Hadni also said it was important to recall Dr Ahmad Hafizam because there was a dispute between two experts on the "mechanism" of the injuries suffered by Muhammad Adib which led to his death.

Lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the Fire Department and family members of the victim, objected to the request, arguing that all witnesses had been given fair and equal opportunity to testify.

"If the court allows the 24th witness to provide a rebuttal against (our) witnesses, namely the 29th witness (former senior forensic and pathology consultant at Hospital Cancelor Tuanku Muhriz, Prof Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid), this (matter) will be endless.

"This is because we will also then surely call the 29th witness to defend his theory," he said in his written argument.

He also referred to the inquest on Teoh Beng Hock's death where two pathologists who conducted the first post-mortem on the deceased were not recalled.

"Hence, there is no reason it (recalling the forensic expert) should be done in this case," he said.

Rofiah then set 10.30am on Tuesday (April 23) to deliver the ruling over the issue.

Muhammad Adib, a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department's Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS) unit, was seriously injured during a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, in USJ 25 on Nov, 27 last year.

He died on Dec 17 at the National Heart Institute. -Bernama

Adib , inquest , temple , riot