Thaqif died of leptospirosis, not beatings, says health DG

Noor-Hisham-AbdullahPETALING JAYA: The forensic investigation on Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, who died on April 26 after having been allegedly abused at a tahfiz (Quran recitation) boarding school, has shown that the cause of death was leptospirosis, a disease known to be brought about by rat urine.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the autopsy performed on the body of the 11-year-old found that he had not died of injuries sustained through alleged beatings.

He said the procedure, which was conducted on the same day that Thaqif died, had extracted tissue and blood samples that were later sent to the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) and the Chemistry Department for analysis.

He said the special committee to investigate the death included forensic specialists who were proficient and vastly experienced in such complex cases.

“The outcome of the autopsy has found that the tahfiz student had passed away because of the disease and not due to trauma or injury as has been made viral (on social media),” he said.

“The cause of death was leptospirosis and it was complicated with the condition of skin necrosis and microthrombi (blood coagulation) in the entire blood-flow.

“It led to change in skin colour and failure of the organs functioning,” Noor Hisham said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, Berita Harian quoted Johor Criminal Investigation Department chief Kamarul Zaman Mamat as saying that police would now update their investigation papers on the case based on the forensic report and wait for further instructions from the deputy public prosecutor’s office.

On June 9, Thaqif’s mother, Felda Wani Ahmad, had demanded the release of a report on a second autopsy performed on his body.

The first autopsy, which was conducted in Hospital Sultan Ismail, Johor Bahru, where Thaqif was warded and subsequently died, failed to reveal the cause of death.

His remains were then exhumed from his grave at Felda Bukit Aping Timur in Kota Tinggi, Johor, on May 19.

Thaqif was admitted to the hospital for leg injuries allegedly sustained after being assaulted with a rubber hose by a 29-year old assistant warden, said to be an ex-convict.

His legs became infected, following which they had to be amputated.

Doctors wanted to amputate his right arm, which was also infected, but he died before this could be done.

The case had been classified as murder. The suspect was released on a court bond on May 3.