KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court has set July 31 to decide on the fate of 19 National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) students who were charged with murdering and injuring cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain.
Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah fixed the date after hearing submissions from both parties.
When met by reporters after proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Julia Ibrahim said the prosecution’s submission focused on the 90 burn marks from a steam iron on the victim’s body.
"The report given by Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia pathologist Dr Salmah Arshad, showed that the marks (from the steam iron) caused the victim to suffer 80% burns.
"The defence submitted the marks were not seen at the time of the incident, but based of the testimony of the witnesses, the victim screamed every time he was hit and the hot iron was placed on him,” she added.
Six UPNM students, Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, Muhammad Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering and abetting the murder of Zulfarhan Osman in room 04-10, of the Jebat hostel building in UPNM, between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.
The charges against the accused, all aged 23, were made under Section 302 and 109 of the Penal Code.
Section 302 carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
They were also charged with 13 other students with voluntarily causing hurt against the victim for the purpose of forcing the latter to admit to the alleged theft of a laptop.
The offences under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same Act impose a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine upon conviction.
Zulfarhan Osman died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1, 2017, believed to have been abused after being accused of stealing his friend's laptop.
The victim was reported to have suffered burns on the chest, arms and legs and is believed to have been tortured with a steam iron.
The accused were represented by a panel of lawyers comprising Amer Hamzah Arshad, Datuk Ranjit Singh Dhillon, A.G. Kalidas, Datuk Hazizah Kassim, Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam, Azizul Shariman Mat Yusoff and Zamri Idrus. -Bernama