SHAH ALAM: Four new counsels from the Attorney General's Chambers have been 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.
The Coroner's Court on Wednesday (June 26) was introduced to the new faces – senior Federal counsels Suzana Atan, Mazlifah Ayob, Fadzilatul Isma Ahmad Rafngah, and Federal counsel Afiq Zainal Abidin.
The new appointments came after Attorney General Tommy Thomas asked Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to revoke lawyer Syazlin Mansor's appointment, citing conflict of interest as one of the reasons.
This was because Syazlin was representing both the Ministry and the Fire and Rescue, as well as Muhammad Adib's family.
Syazlin then withdrew from representing all three interested parties on May 27.
She, however, later announced that she would continue on in the inquest as the lawyer for Muhammad Adib's family.
Inquest conducting officer Deputy Public Prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin later welcomed Syazlin's return and there were no objections against her representing Muhammad Adib's family.
"The Attorney General's request to the Minister (Zuraida) was only for her to withdraw from representing the Ministry and Fire and Rescue Department," said Faten.
After confirming the addition of the new counsels for all interested parties in the inquest, Judge Rofiah Mohamad – who sits as coroner – set July 3, 4, and 5 for the court to hear from retired pathologist Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.
Rofiah also set July 16 and 17 for the Coroner's Court to hear from a physics expert on the calculation to determine the force of impact needed to cause Muhammad Adib's injuries.
The formula to calculate the force of impact was a point of contention between Dr Shahrom, the inquest's 29th witness, and forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, the inquest's 24th witness.
Dr Shahrom's theory was that there was not enough impact coming from the door of the Fire and Rescue Department's Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van to cause Muhammad Adib's injuries, which later proved fatal.
He instead put forward the theory that the fireman could have been forcefully pulled out from the van he was in, while several persons were kicking the door of the van, resulting in his injuries.
This contradicted Dr Ahmad Hafizam's theory that there was enough force from the van's door to injure Muhammad Adib.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who conducted the post-mortem on the fireman's body, also ruled that the fireman's injuries were inconsistent with an assault.
Dr Shahrom was brought in as witness by Syazlin, who was then still representing the three interested parties – the ministry, the Fire and Rescue Department, and Muhammad Adib's family.
Rofiah also requested that all parties concerned submit a list of potential physics expert to assist the inquest on July 16 and 17 ahead of time.
"The list can be submitted between July 3 and 5 so I can decide (on whom can be called)," she said.
DPP Faten confirmed that a physics expert was needed to clarify the formula that could be used to estimate the force of impact which hit the fireman.
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.
He later died on Dec 17, at 9.41pm.