Witness says he receives 'guidance' pointing to Zulfarhan Osman as laptop thief

KUALA LUMPUR: An Islamic medicine practitioner told the High Court here that he had received a "guidance", a sign which pointed to Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, who died after being allegedly tortured by his university-mates, as the one who had stolen a laptop.

Abdullah Md Seh, 56, the father of one of the accused in the murder case, said he saw the sign after performing Solat Hajat and Istikharah (prayer of guidance) to help students from the university to identify the individual who allegedly stole the said laptop.

"The sign came from intuition, I saw his name. I used some 'items' as well. (Zulfarhan Osman's) name appeared in my view," said the father of Muhamad Ashraf, the 18th accused who allegedly deliberately injured Zulfarhan Osman.

Abdullah, who was the 13th prosecution witness, said this during the examination-in-chief by DPP Othman Abdullah at the seventh day of the trial here, today.

While the witness was taking the stand, those in the public gallery were seen whispering with each other, with the victim's family members were heard saying sarcastically, "wow, wow, what a great 'shaman'".

Explaining further, the army retiree said he had been contacted by a man who claimed to be a UPNM student and a friend of Muhamad Ashraf, seeking his view on the laptop theft case at the university.

Abdullah said he did not remember exactly when the call took place, but that the caller had read out a list of names of some individuals suspected of stealing the said laptop, and he had written them down on a piece of paper before performing the prayers.

"I wrote those names on a paper. I no longer have the paper, because it's been a long time, I did not keep it. I saw the sign pointing to one of the suspects in the list, but there is no evidence," he said, adding that he then told Mohammed Ashraf that Zulfarhan Osman was the one suspected of stealing the laptop.

To Othman's question on why Abdullah revealed the suspect's name to his son and not to the person who contacted him, the witness said that he did not have the caller's phone number, and he was told that the caller was a friend of his son.

Abdullah said he had, however, repeatedly advised his son and friends to resolve the matter amicably and not to act out irrationally as there was no clear evidence in the case.

Meanwhile, the 14th prosecution witness, Sergeant Mohd Tarmizi Saad, 39, who works at the UPNM Medical Centre said he had found a piece of note slit in between the fence of the medical centre on May 23, 2017, about nine days before Zulfarhan Osman died on June 1, 2017.

Mohd Tarmizi said the note read: "If you have compassion, solicitude for others, I urge you to ambush room 4-10, at the Satria Block (in front of the mosque). There is a patient who needs urgent treatment. IMMEDIATELY!!! - Servant of Allah."

The witness said he then took the handwritten note and handed it over to Capt Haryani Hassan, the trainer on duty at the time for further action.

Six UPNM students, namely Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Muhammad Azamuddin, Mad Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali pleaded not guilty to murdering and conspiring to murder Zulfarhan Osman at room 04-10, of the Jebat hostel block, UPNM, between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.

The charges against all the accused aged 22, were submitted under sections 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which provides for a mandatory death sentence, upon conviction.

The six and 13 other students were also charged with voluntarily hurting the victim to seek a confession for stealing the laptop, under Section 330 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which carries maximum imprisonment of seven years, and fine, upon conviction.

The trial before Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah continues on June 4. — Bernama