KUALA LUMPUR: The DNA of a prosecution witness who is also a student at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM), was found on a taekwondo belt, which is believed to have been used to bind UPNM naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, before the latter was said to have been tortured with a steam iron, the High Court here was told today.
This was mentioned by lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad during the cross-examination of a police officer from the Selangor Police Contingent’s Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Investigation Division, Inspector Mohd Aidil Shafie.
Amer Hamzah, who represents the first and second accused – Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal and Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi – asked Mohd Aidil whether he knew that the DNA of Muhammad Izzul Akhtar Rosli, had been found on the yellow belt.
“I am not aware of the DNA,“ said Mohd Aidil, 37, who is the 28th prosecution witness. Muhammad Izzul Akhtar was the 17th prosecution witness who was called to testify on the eighth day of the trial, last year.
The student had stayed in room 04-10 of the campus with four other residents including three of the accused, namely Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi and Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, who were charged with killing Zulfarhan Osman, and Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, who was accused of injuring the victim.
Mohd Aidil, however, agreed with Amer Hamzah’s suggestion that the belt was of a martial arts discipline.
The witness also agreed that only a DNA test could determine the individual who had used the belt.
To Amer Hamzah’s suggestion whether the name of any individual or UPNM student was written on the belt, Mohd Aidil, who previously served as an Intelligence and Operations officer at the Sepang District Police Headquarters, replied: “No”.
During the proceedings, the belt was brought into the courtroom and identified as one of the case exhibits collected by Mohd Aidil from the hostel room.
A steam iron was also among the items seized by him.
Six UPNM students, Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, Muhammad Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering and abetting the murder of Zulfarhan Osman in room 04-10, of the Jebat hostel building in UPNM, between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.
The charges against the accused, all aged 23, were made under Section 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, and carry the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
They were also charged with 13 other students with voluntarily causing hurt against the victim for the purpose of forcing the latter to admit to the alleged theft of a laptop, according to Section 330 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which imposes a maximum imprisonment of seven years, and a fine, upon conviction.
The prosecution was handled by Kuala Lumpur prosecution director Othman Abdullah and deputy public prosecutor Nurakmal Farhan Aziz.
The trial before Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah continues March 7. — Bernama