KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has ordered 18 Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) students to enter their defence on charges of injuring and murdering a university mate, cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, two years ago.
Justice Azman Abdullah reached the decision yesterday after concluding that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case against the 18 accused.
Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri are charged with murder, while Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali is charged with abetting the murder of Zulfarhan Osman.
They allegedly committed the offence at 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 were made under Section 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which carry the mandatory death sentence upon conviction. The six, along with 12 others, were also ordered to enter their defence on charges of injuring the victim.
The 12 are Mohd Hafiz Fauzan Ismail, Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri, Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar, Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhammad Hasif Ismail, Muhammad Adib Iman Fuad Adi Sany and Mohamad Syazwan Musa.
They are charged with voluntarily causing hurt to the victim for the purpose of forcing the latter to admit to the alleged theft of a laptop, according to Section 330 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which imposes a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine.
The offence was allegedly committed at room 03-05 of the Jebat hostel building between 2.30am and 5.30am on May 21, 2017.
The court, however, acquitted and discharged one of the accused, Muhammad Akmal Akif Alias, of a charge of injuring the victim.
The accused are now 23 years old.The court set Oct 2 and 3, Nov 4 to 7, Nov 18 to 20 and Dec 3 and 4, 2019 for the defence proceedings.
A total of 29 witnesses were called to testify, including two eyewitnesses, throughout the prosecution phase of the trial which started on Jan 29, 2018.
The prosecution is led by DPPs Julia Ibrahim and N. Joy Jothi.
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.
Meanwhile, Zulfarhan Osman’s father, Zulkarnain Idros, 55, was seen performing sujud syukur (prostration of gratitude) outside the courtroom while his mother, Hawa Osman, 56, said she was always thinking of her son since his death two years ago.
Muhammad Akmal Akif expressed his gratitude and promised to continue his studies.
Zulfarhan Osman died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1, 2017, believed to have been abused, with reported burns on the chest, arms and legs, and believed to have been inflicted with a steam iron. — Bernama