PETALING JAYA: A deputy public prosecutor (DPP) will be appointed to represent the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Fire and Rescue Department at the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
This follows the withdrawal of lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who represented the Ministry, the Fire and Rescue Department and Muhammad Adib's family at the inquest since the beginning of the inquest.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said she had discussed with Attorney General Tommy Thomas on Saturday (June 1) on the appointment of a new legal representative for the Ministry and the Fire and Rescue Department.
“We are in agreement that is in the interest of the Ministry and Fire and Rescue Department be represented by a DPP as well in searching for the truth as to how one of its personnel received fatal injuries whilst on duty.
“This DPP will be independent of the conducting officer of the inquest,” she said in a statement on Saturday (June 1).
She added that the appointment was “necessary” in the wake of Syazlin's withdarwal from the inquest.
Zuraida sai the Ministry would appoint a senior DPP from a list provided by Thomas.
The DPP appointed will “adopt all evidence and submissions adduced and raised in the coroner's court” by Syazlin, she said.
“This would include the evidence of (retired pathologist) Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid,” she added.
Dr Shahrom, a former forensic pathologist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, was brought in as the 29th witness in the inquest by Syazlin.
Dr Shahrom's theory that Muhammad Adib could have been forcefully pulled out of the Fire and Rescue Department’s Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van he was in is at odds with the theory proposed by forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who conducted the autopsy on the fireman, concluded that his injuries were inconsistent with an assault.
Zuraida said she hoped the appointment of the DPP would end speculations that had arisen after Syazlin's withdrawal on May 27 (Monday).
“We hope this will end any baseless speculation by irresponsible quarters and allow the inquest to continue smoothly and without disruption,” she added.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner for the inquest, which is being 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.