Navy cadet's mouth foaming, palms bleeding before death, witness tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) cadet officer told the Sessions Court here Wednesday (April 17) that the late J. Soosaimanicckam was foaming at the mouth, his palms were bleeding and his body was bruised before the victim died.

Christian Bernard Unto, 31, currently a senior executive of a private company, said the incident happened when second lieutenant R. Rashwin asked him to undress the deceased while he was in the toilet.

"As I was about to head for lunch, I arrived to find Soosaimanicckam unresponsive, with bleeding palms, foaming at the mouth, sprawled out in the bathroom.

"Even though he didn't respond, he managed to walk to his room and sit on the bed... he seemed on the verge of passing out, but I attempted to rouse him and wipe the foam from his mouth.

"I slapped him to try to elicit a response, but he remained unresponsive. Then I called Rashwin to immediately take the victim to the Lumut Armed Forces Hospital. While they were lifting the deceased in the residential college lobby, Soosaimanicckam died," he said, adding that he did not accompany the deceased to the hospital.

The fourth plaintiff's witness said this during examination-in-chief by lawyer Latheefa Koya, representing S. Joseph in his suit against 11 individuals including RMN captains and officers, RMN commander, Malaysian Armed Forces Council, the Defence Minister and the Malaysian government as the first to 15th defendants.

When cross- examined by Senior Federal Counsel Nur Ezdiani Roleb, representing the defendants, the witness disagreed with the assertion that he had seen the deceased in a tired state, contrary to his earlier claim.

Meanwhile, the fifth plaintiff’s witness Sammy Danielle Sitibun, 37, also a former RMN cadet officer, testified that if the deceased couldn't complete the physical exercises, he would be isolated and the exercises would be doubled.

When questioned by another lawyer for the plaintiff, Zaid Malek, about the officer’s response when the deceased couldn't complete the training, Sammy Danielle, who currently works in a bookstore, said the officer would become angry and scold the deceased to ensure he completed the exercises.

In the lawsuit filed on May 19, 2021, the victim's family is alleging negligence on the part of the defendants for failing to provide emergency treatment when the victim collapsed on the day of the incident, and further claim negligence in monitoring his well-being and health during training sessions.

The plaintiff is seeking general damages, aggravated damages, exemplary damages, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Soosaimanicckam, a Graduate Cadet Officer, was pronounced dead at the Armed Forces Hospital in Lumut.

Last year, the Ipoh Coroner's Court delivered an open verdict during the inquest into the cadet officer's death to ascertain the cause.

Coroner Ainul Shahrin Mohamad determined that the cause of Soosaimanicckam's death, which occurred during cadet training at KD Sultan Idris, was pulmonary edema.

The trial before Judge Idah Ismail continues on May 13. - Bernama

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