Adib inquest cannot continue until new lawyer appointed, rules coroner

Timothy Achariam

Former senior forensic and pathology expert Professor Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid (right) and lawyer Syazlin Mansor leaving the coroner’s court in Shah Alam on April 16. Syazlin withdrew from the inquest earlier today. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 27, 2019.

THE inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim cannot continue unless a lawyer is appointed to represent all three interested parties in the case – the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the Fire and Rescue Department and Adib’s family, ruled coroner Rofiah Mohamad.

The ruling came after lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who was representing the first two parties, had told the judge of her intention to withdraw from the case.

She did not give reasons for her withdrawal.

Syazlin told the coroner that her withdrawal meant that expert witness Professor Dr Shahrom Abdul Wahid’s testimony would be invalidated.

Shahrom, who is the former head of Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s forensics unit, had claimed that Adib sustained his injuries when he was pulled out of a vehicle and attacked.

His testimony conflicted with two other prosecution witnesses, who said Adib’s death was due to injuries sustained from falling from the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van.

Rofiah today asked Syazlin if her withdrawal meant that the parties she represented were also withdrawing as interested parties.

Syazlin replied that the parties would remain interested parties and that the Attorney-General’s Chambers and Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamarudin would appoint new legal counsel.

Rofiah then said that the inquest could not proceed without a new lawyer being appointed and set June 26 for case mention, at which point the AGC and ministry must bring forth new legal counsel.

When court adjourned, Syazlin evaded questions from the media.

When asked if she was pressured to withdraw, she said:  “I have no comment on this, ask the minister.”

Syazlin had been actively involved in the inquest since it began on February 11.

The inquest is seeking to determine how Adib suffered the injuries that killed him 21 days after he was hospitalised following riots on November 27 last year. – May 27, 2019.

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