Forensics expert debunks ex-pathologist’s theory

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 15 May 2019

SHAH ALAM: A forensics expert told the inquest into the death of Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim that if the fireman had been forcefully pulled out of the van he was in, the person who dragged him out would have sustained injuries as well.

This, said Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, was because both the Fire and Rescue Department’s Emer­gency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van that Muhammad Adib was in and the fire truck, which was in front of the van, were reversing at the time.

He told the coroner’s court that the investigating officer assigned to the case had said that there were no reports of anyone getting injured by the EMRS van in that early morning of Nov 27 last year.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam, the 24th witness, was the forensics expert who conducted an autopsy on Muhammad Adib, 24.

He was recalled to the coroner’s court yesterday to explain the differences between his report and the theory put forward by the 29th witness – retired pathologist Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.

Dr Shahrom had stated that Muhammad Adib could have been forcefully pulled out of the EMRS van as several persons were kicking the door of the van at the same time, resulting in his injuries.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam’s report, on the other hand, stated that Muhammad Adib’s injuries were inconsistent with an assault.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam said that the areas at the side of the EMRS van’s front passenger seat and driver seat were considered as danger zones, as the van was being pushed backwards by the fire truck then.

“In my opinion, in this situation the (front passenger door) side of the EMRS van was a danger zone.

“This goes for the (driver’s) side on the right as well, taking into account the large size of the fire truck.

“So if the door of the passenger side was opened, it can be a dangerous object and it can hit anyone who was within the danger zone,” he said.

“If someone was pulling him from behind, the door can hit the person pulling him as well,” he said.

He said Dr Shahrom’s theory was inconsistent with the situation and the surroundings.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam also asserted that injuries found on the body of Muhammad Adib during the autopsy were inconsistent with the theory that the fireman was forcefully pulled out of the van.

“Clinical forensics examination and the autopsy found no injuries matching with that of being pulled out, such as bruises or scratches on the neck or defensive wounds on the hands,” he said.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam also pointed out a flaw in Dr Shahrom’s theory that several individuals were kicking the door of the EMRS van, due to the fact that the van was reversing at that time.

“The person who was kicking the door several times needs to move consistently with the speed of the EMRS van as it was reversing.

“So if there were several people, they all had to be on the same speed as the van,” he said.

Dr Shahrom, who was not present during the autopsy, was called in as an additional expert witness by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the family of the deceased, at the inquest.

Judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner for the inquest, held at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

Muhammad Adib became critically injured in the early morning of Nov 27 when he and his team responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where a riot was taking place.

He died on Dec 17.

The inquest continues today.

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