SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim has been adjourned for three weeks after the sudden withdrawal of a lawyer representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry as well as the Fire and Rescue Department.
Counsel Syazlin Muhammad, who also previously appeared for the family of the deceased fireman at the inquest, did not provide any reason.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad, who sits as coroner, set June 26 for mention of the inquest due to the circumstances.
When asked by Rofiah whether her former clients were withdrawing as interested parties, Syazlin said no.
“I was informed (by the Ministry) that they will remain as interested parties. I believe Attorney General (Tommy Thomas) will discuss with the Minister (Zuraida Kamaruddin) on the appointment (of a new counsel),” said Syazlin.
Rofiah said that she set June 26 to give time for a new counsel to come in, as the inquest could not proceed without a counsel for the interested parties.
She said the date will also give time to the Deputy Public Prosecutors to find a physics expert who can settle the dispute over the formula used to calculate the force of impact which caused Muhammad Adib’s injuries.
The formula was a point of contention between the inquest’s 24th witness, Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, and 29th witness Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.
Syazlin also said that Dr Shahrom will not be in the inquest any more following her withdrawal from the inquest.
This was because Dr Shahrom, a retired pathologist, was brought in by Syazlin to assist with the inquest.
Inquest conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin, however, suggested that Dr Shahrom could still be recalled if the court needed his assistance.
When asked by the media outside the court on why she withdrew from the inquest, Syazlin said that she did not want to comment on the matter.
“I don’t want to comment, ask the Minister (Zuraida Kamaruddin),” she said.
Zuraida later released a statement saying that Syazlin’s presence in the inquest was “redundant”.
“We have come realise that the Attorney General (AG) is representing the government – (and) that would include both the Ministry and Fire and Rescue Department – and therefore Syazlin’s role in representing both has become redundant.
“So she has to withdraw herself,” said Zuraida.