SHAH ALAM: An expert witness told the Coroner’s Court that he was confused by contradictions in the post-mortem report of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
Former senior forensic and pathology expert at Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, Prof Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid, 62, said his confusion on the summary of the autopsy report by a Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) expert was based on three major issues.
The 29th witness said he was confused whether Adib got out of the Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) van by himself; was dragged out by someone else; or if the injuries Adib suffered were caused by being pinned between two hard surfaces.
“(In the autopsy) report, the expert (from HKL who conducted the post-mortem), stated that he was not sure,” Dr Shahrom said when answering a question by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Ministry of Housing and Local Government as well as the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), on the 29th day of the inquest here today.
Dr Shahrom said he was also confused by the testimony (of the expert witness) that Adib had gotten down before he was hit by the EMRS van’s door and flung to the road shoulder.
He said this contradicted the autopsy report summary produced by the same forensic expert who could not determine whether the firefighter got down from the EMRS van on his own or was dragged out by others.
The witness said the hypothesis that Adib got down from the vehicle by himself and was then hit by the van’s door while it was reversing was not true and should be examined.
He said that based on the controlled experiment which he conducted, it was almost improbable to say that the accident could have broken any of the firefighter’s rib bones.
“The hypothesis states that the victim (Adib) got down from the EMRS van by himself and was hit by the front door when the van reversed…then flung to the front and landed on the road shoulder.
“I find that the hypothesis was not tested,” he said.
Dr Shahrom also said that there was a big possibility that Adib was attacked by rioters from behind or near the EMRS van in the early hours of Nov 27 last year.
He said that based on exhibit 138, a video recording of two fire trucks reversing, a group of rioters could be seen approaching from the front of the Fire Rescue Tender (FRT) vehicle that was in front of the EMRS van.
He said that if Adib had seen the rioters approaching from the front towards the EMRS van’s door, he would have assumed that he was going to be attacked.
“There is a big possibility that there could have been others who approached Adib from behind. Suddenly, he was attacked,” he said.
He said the controlled experiment he had conducted was to show the presence of others around the EMRS van who had slammed Adib’s helmet against the window until it (the helmet) flew into the van.
He said the experiment showed that one could break the van’s back window by slamming the helmet three times against it at an arm’s length (between the van and individual).
Adib, who was a member of the EMRS Unit of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station, was seriously injured during the riot at the temple on Nov 27 last year before succumbing to his injuries on Dec 17 at the National Heart Institute.
Meanwhile, Syazlin objected to an application by Deputy Public Prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin, who is also the conducting officer in the inquest, to recall the 24th witness, HKL forensic expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi, 40.
Syazlin said there was no need to recall the witness as this was just an inquest and not a trial.
Coroner Rofiah Mohamad instructed both parties to file their submissions to explain why Dr Ahmad Hafizam needed to be recalled or otherwise and set Monday (April 22) to hear their arguments.