SHAH ALAM (Bernama): The forensic expert who performed the autopsy on Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim will be recalled to re-testify at the inquiry into the fireman's death.
The High Court on Tuesday (April 30) allowed an application by an officer handling the inquest to recall the 24th witness of the proceedings, Kuala Hospital (HKL) forensic expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi.
Judge Indera Ab Karim Ab Rahman made the decision after finding that the Shah Alam Coroner's Court had erred in its decision to reject the inquest handler's application to recall the expert witness.
"I find that there has been a mistake by the Coroner, in that she took into consideration the points (proceedings) will not end (if the 24th witness was recalled).
"I agree with the application by the handler and that only the expert witness, who is also the 24th witness, be recalled to give his explanation and testimony," he said.
Ab Karim opined that that there was no way the inquest would not end as the Coroner was in control of the proceedings, which were not aimed at accusing any individual but to find out the actual cause of Adib's death.
"Based on what (information) was given, the coroner shouldn't have decided that it was enough because there are new things that need to be explained by the 24th witness. The Coroner should consider all the various aspects and not leave out anything, irrespective of whether or not it will have an impact on the decision.
"As such, it is necessary to give the witness a chance to give his explanation. This (decision) is applicable for the 24th witness only," he said in fixing May 10 for the case mention at the Coroner's Court.
On April 23, the officer handling the inquest filed an application with the High Court to review Coroner Rofiah Mohamad's decision in rejecting his application to recall the 23rd and 27th witnesses.
The application to recall the witnesses was because of a dispute between two experts regarding the mechanism of the injuries sustained by Adib, which resulted in his death.
Earlier, during application proceedings, inquest handler Hamdan Hamzah told the court that the Coroner may have erred in her decision by not asking him if he planned to call anymore witnesses after hearing the testimony of the 29th witness, former Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz senior forensic and pathology consultant Prof Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.
"The 29th witness is a pathology expert called up by the lawyers for the victim's family, Housing and Local Government Ministry as well as the Fire and Rescue Department and whose testimony differed from that of the 24th witness.
"The 24th witness was the one who conducted the post-mortem (on Muhammad Adib), not the 29th witness, who testified as if he had carried out the autopsy. How did the 29th witness make the factual findings? This needs to be explained by the 24th witness," he said.
Hamdan, in his argument, also felt that the Coroner's Court should gather all the information and hear further explanation by the 24th witness with regard to the testimony given by the 29th witness.
"This is important in view of the fact that several matters not brought up by the 24th witness were commented on by the 29th witness, who went on to say that the findings of the 24th witness were incorrect," he said.
Muhammad Adib, a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station EMRS unit, was seriously injured during a rioting incident at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya on Nov, 27 last year.
He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17. – Bernama