Naval cadet died due to fluid in lungs, court told

IPOH: The cause of death of naval cadet officer J. Soosaimanicckam (pic) is due to pulmonary oedema or fluid in his lungs, a Coroner’s Court here heard.

Manjung Hospital’s forensic unit chief Dr S. Saravanan said this was the finding from a postmortem he carried out on May 20,2018, a day after the cadet’s death.

However, when questioned by the deceased’s family’s counsel Mahajoth Singh on why the source and duration of the infection were not identified, Dr Saravanan said this was because the postmortem was conducted a day after the cadet’s death.

“The body was sent from the Lumut naval base to Manjung Hospital at 6.35pm on May 19 but the police order to conduct the postmortem was handed over to me the next day.

“To do an investigation on the source of infection, this must be done within a time frame of about six hours after a person’s death, ” he said before Sessions Court judge Azman Abu Hassan who sat as Coroner, adding that taking samples was no longer viable.

The Coroner’s Court is probing the cause of the cadet’s death during training at the naval base on May 19,2018.

Soosaimanicckam was pronounced dead at the Lumut Armed Forces Hospital.

Previous reports claimed that before his death, the cadet had complained of chest pains and shortness of breath after completing a physical exercise that was part of his daily routine.

He reported for duty on May 12, a week before his death.

Mahajoth is representing Soosaimanicckam’s family as part of Lawyers for Liberty while the other counsel is Zaid Malek.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor is Qistini Qamarul Abrar while lawyer Amrick Singh Sandu is holding a watching brief for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.

Earlier, Mahajoth told Dr Saravanan that the official documents had shown that the police order was handed in on May 19 itself.

However, Dr Saravanan said he did not know about that because the order was only presented to him the next day.

On a question by the counsel if there was any document to show that the order was only received on May 20, Dr Saravanan replied: “No.”

Dr Saravanan said toxicology (blood) and histopathological (tissue biopsy) tests were also conducted.The toxicology report, he added, showed negative results for alcohol or drug abuse, with only painkillers detected.

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