Adib’s inquest takes a surprise turn (Updated)

27 May 2019 / 18:55 H.

SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim today took a dramatic turn when the lawyer representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the Fire and Rescue Department and Adib’s family withdrew from the proceedings.

Lawyer, Syazlin Mansor did not state her reasons for her withdrawal from the inquest presided by coroner Rofiah Mohamad, adding that her move would mean that expert witness Prof Dr Shahrom Abdul Wahid’s testimony would be void.

“With my withdrawal, the appointment of Shahrom as a witness will be void,“ she said.

When asked by Rofiah if the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Fire and Rescue Department were withdrawing as interested parties, Syazlin replied no.

“I was informed by the ministry that they will remain as interested parties and I believe the Attorney-General (Tommy Thomas) will discuss with Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin on the appointment of new counsel,“ said Syazlin.

Coroner Rofiah then said the inquest could not proceed without a new lawyer being appointed and set June 26 for case mention, at which point the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the housing and local government ministry must bring forth a new legal counsel.

She added the date set would give time to the deputy public prosecutors to look for a physics expert who can resolve disputes over the formula used to calculate the force of impact needed to cause Muhammad Adib’s injuries.

Adib was part of a nine-man fire-fighting team that responded to a fire at the temple where rioters were protesting its relocation on Nov 27.

During the riot, Adib sustained severe injuries and was hospitalised for three weeks, before succumbing to his injuries on Dec 17.

During the inquest, it was revealed that Adib’s death was due to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure.

National Heart Institute cardiothoracic surgeon senior consultant Datuk Dr Mohamed Ezani Md Taib, who revealed the cause of death, said the ARDS or lung failure occurred due to major blunt trauma suffered by the deceased.

An inquest into his death was commissioned as there were no conclusive findings in into how Adib was wounded during the riot.

Police investigations revealed there were two probabilities that could have led to Adib’s death – one being that he was beaten by the rioters or that he was run over by a fire truck.

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