Witness: I saw who used hot iron on cadet officer

Six National Defence University of Malaysia students have been charged with killing Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain at a hostel block of the university early on May 22, 2017. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness in the murder trial of National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain told the High Court here today that he was certain who had hit and injured the victim because he had witnessed the incident.

Mohd Syafiq Abdullah, 22, a former UPNM student and roommate of Zulfarhan, said he could remember the individuals involved because he clearly saw what transpired even though the UPNM hostel room was only lit by a table lamp.

“I am certain because I could see them,” he said when cross-examined by lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad, representing Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal and Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, the first and second accused in the trial which is into its 18th day today.

As such, the 25th prosecution witness, who is currently undergoing military training in Kedah, denied the possibility that he had mistakenly identified the individuals who had hit and tortured the victim in the case.

However, the witness agreed with Amer’s suggestion that he might not be able to remember the parts of body the victim was beaten and tortured with a hot iron by the individuals.

“I’m sure who were involved, but I can’t really remember the parts of his body where he was tortured,” he said.

In reply to Amer’s suggestion that he testified he could recognise the individuals involved because he feared he would otherwise be expelled by the Malaysian Armed Forces, Syafiq said “No”.

In an earlier proceeding, Syafiq had named several UPNM students, including the accused, as the individuals who had beaten and used a hot iron on the victim as well as those who were in the room when Zulfarhan was believed to have been abused in rooms 3-5 and 4-10, UPNM Hostel, on May 21 and 22, 2017.

Besides Akmal and Azamuddin, four other UPNM students, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali, have pleaded not guilty to the murder and abetment in the murder of Zulfarhan at room 04-10, Jebat hostel block of UPNM between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.

The charges against them, all aged 22, were made under Section 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which provide for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

They, together with 13 other students, were also charged with voluntarily causing hurt to the victim to make him confess to the theft of a laptop, under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same code which provides for a maximum jail term of seven years and fine, if convicted.

The hearing before Judge Azman Abdullah continues tomorrow.