Naval cadet died from bacterial infection of chest and burn wounds, expert tells court

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): A forensics consultant at a government hospital concluded the death of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) naval cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain was due to bacterial infection in his chest and major burn sequela.

Head of the Sungai Buloh Hospital Forensic Medicine Department, Dr Rohayu Shahar Adnan, 49, said this while testifying in the High Court here today during the defence proceedings of 18 UPNM students on charges of murdering, abetting and injuring Zulfarhan Osman.

Questioned by lawyer Datuk Sri M. Ramachelvam, the 19th defence witness said Zulfarhan Osman's death was not caused 100% by the burns, but there was an element of infection earlier and even worse with the loss of skin surface from the scalding.

Ramachelvam: Based on the autopsy report, photos and microscopic examination, can Dr Rohayu conclude the cause of death?

Dr Rohayu: Number one is 'chest infection' because there is bacterial infection at the lungs with inflammatory complications in the heart.

Number two, she said, was due to major burn sequela, adding that this proved that the deceased's body immune system was weak.

On July 31, last year, the High Court ordered 18 UPNM students to enter their defence on charges of murdering, conspiring to murder and injuring Zulfarhan Osman.

The five accused, Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Muhammad Azamuddin Mod Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri are facing charges of murdering Zulfarhan, while Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali was charged with abetting the murder.

The offence was allegedly committed in room 04-10, Accommodation block, Jebat Hostel, UPNM, between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22,2017.

The charges under Section 302 and Section 109 of the Penal Code provide for the mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.

The six are also charged along with 12 others of voluntarily causing hurt to Zulfarhan Osman to extort a confession from him for a laptop theft.

They 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, Muhammad Adib Iman and Mohamad Syazwan.

They were charged with intentionally causing hurt to the victim, to obtain his confession that he had stolen a laptop, under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same Code which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and a fine.

The offence was allegedly committed at Room 03-05, Jebat Hostel Block, UPNM, between 2.30am and 5.30am on May 21,2017.

The trial before justice Datuk Azman Abdullah continues on Jan 12. – Bernama

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