SHAH ALAM (March 22): A Kuala Lumpur Hospital forensic expert today confirmed that the injury pattern on the body of deceased firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was not consistent with those of someone who had been hit, kicked or punched.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hafizam Hasmi, who works at the hospital’s Forensic Medical Department, told the Coroner’s Court here that the post-mortem conducted on the deceased found that the injuries to the thorax were not something one would normally see in cases of someone being hit by a blunt object or kicked or punched.
“In my view, the injury pattern on the deceased’s body does not match that of a beating. In addition, there were no injuries on the face, head, abdomen as well as upper and lower limbs that would match injuries from being hit or defending oneself, on the deceased’s body.
“Based on the pattern of the internal and external injuries on the deceased, my team and I were asked to attend and help out in the reconstruction of the incident by the police on Dec 22,” he said, adding that the post-mortem was conducted on Dec 18.
The 24th witness said he was told by the investigating officer that a witness, Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) vehicle driver Shahril Othman, had said that Adib, who was supposed to be in the front passenger seat, was not in the van after a Fire Rescue Tender (FRT) vehicle suddenly reversed into the EMRS van during the riots at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, on Nov 27 last year.
“Based on the information, I am of the opinion that the most likely possibility that could have occurred that day was that if Adib was actually outside the EMRS van, then he would have been standing with his back towards the fire truck,” he said when answering Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah, who is conducting the inquest into the cause of Adib’s death.
“The left side of the deceased took the brunt of the impact of the crash from the edge of the left door frame of the EMRS van which was open and the reversing vehicle, thus resulting in the breaking of his left ribs one to seven...the edge of the EMRS van’s left front door, which is hard, thin and straight is suitable to causing such a break, which is like a straight upright line to rib bones one to seven,” he explained.
He added that there were also horizontal scratch wounds on Adib’s back, probably due to friction against the left front side key structure plate of the EMRS van.
Elaborating further, he said the impact from the edge of the EMRS van’s front left door could have forced the deceased to lunge forward and fall, with his right ribs hitting a hard and protruding surface such as a road shoulder or any hard structure in the vicinity and subsequently cause injury to the victim’s right thorax.
“There were scratch marks on the back of the right lower arm, back of the left elbow and on the right knee matching the friction injury one suffers from falling on a hard surface.
“In my view, the impact on the deceased’s right chest was strong due to the combination of the force from the EMRS van on his back and the momentum of the deceased body when getting out of the EMRS,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who has handled high-profile post-mortem cases like that of the murder of Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais, however, said that based on the autopsy report, he could not determine whether Adib got out of the EMRS van voluntarily or was pulled out by others.
Earlier, the witness said the seven left ribs of the deceased broke in a straight vertical line.
“However, from the evidence based on the external injury pattern and broken rib bones I cannot safely set aside allegations that the deceased was injured due to being squeezed between two hard surfaces until there are more credible supporting evidence,” he said.
Muhammad Adib, who was a member of the EMRS at the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station, was badly injured in the riots and died almost a month later at the National Heart Institute.
The hearing before Coroner Rofiah Mohamad continues next Tuesday.