Adib inquest: Experiments not needed, waste of time, forensics expert tells court


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 16 May 2019

SHAH ALAM: Experiments are not needed, as there are 1,001 ways on how someone can fall, forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi told the coroner's court at the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

He said reconstruction can prove to be a waste of time in Muhammad Adib's case, as there were many ways the fireman could have fallen on the curb by the side of the road during the early morning of Nov 27 last year.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam said this under questioning 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.

Syazlin was questioning why Dr Ahmad Hafizam did not carry out experiments to see how Muhammad Adib could have fallen on the curb and the injuries resulted from the fall.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam explained that it was not normal practice for forensic pathologists to carry out experiments to explain how a victim could have sustained his or her injuries, unless there were concrete clues on what transpired when the victim sustained the injuries and what could have caused them.

"We don't just blindly conduct experiments in the field of forensics.

"For example, if someone was murdered with a claw hammer and the police showed us the hammer, then we can conduct an experiment to see whether the pattern on the hammer matches the injuries on the victim.

"And in that case, we can't even say that the hammer is the murder weapon, we can only say that the hammer matches the pattern of injuries.

"So in this case, we can't say for sure that it was definitely the curb that caused injuries to the victim (Muhammad Adib).

"And as there are 1,001 ways how someone can fall, that is why a reconstruction is not suitable. The findings (of the reconstruction) can be debatable and it is a waste of time," he said on the 35th day of the inquest.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam had theorised that Muhammad Adib's injuries were caused by him falling and hitting a hard, wide, and rough surface.

Earlier during the day, Dr Ahmad Hafizam said that without any eyewitness who can testify to exactly what happened to Muhammad Adib on Nov 27, the most probable explanation was that the fireman went out of the EMRS van on his own accord.

Under questioning by Syazlin, Dr Ahmad Hafizam explained that there were no eyewitness who saw the fireman being forcefully pulled out from the EMRS van.

As there was no corroborating testimony to suggest Muhammad Adib was forcefully pulled out of the van, the likelier explanation was that he exited the van on his own due to the lack of defensive injuries on his body, as seen from the clinical forensic examination and autopsy, said Dr Ahmad Hafizam.

When Syazlin pointed out that the uniform worn by Muhammad Adib that early morning had missing buttons - which can be used as evidence that the fireman was forcefully pulled out - Dr Ahmad Hafizam said that he was not sure that the uniform was indeed the one worn by the fireman during the incident.

He said that this was because the uniform given to him - which allegedly was the one worn by Muhammad Adib during the incident - did not have tearing that was consistent with his injuries.

"For his trousers, I am confident that it was the one worn by him (during the incident), as there were dirt and tearing that matched the injury on his right knee.

"But the uniform was clean and there was no tear on the left elbow," he added.

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

Muhammad Adib, 24, became critically injured in the early morning of Nov 27, after he and his team members from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where a riot was taking place.

The fireman was taken to SJMC after he was found injured, before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment, where he later died on Dec 17, at 9.41pm.

The inquest continues on Friday (May 17).

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