KUALA LUMPUR: Syazlin Mansor, who withdrew last month as counsel for the family of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in the inquest into his death, today said she would continue to represent them.
“Adib’s father asked me to continue being their lawyer. I am quite close to the family, so I felt I should return as their lawyer” she said at a press conference here.
Syazlin had on May 27 announced her withdrawal as counsel for the housing and local government ministry and the family.
Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas had previously cited four reasons why Syazlin was instructed to withdraw from the case, including conflict of interest as she was also acting for Adib’s family.
Thomas said the ministry and the department, just as all ministries and government departments, were required to seek legal advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), with external counsel being appointed by the AG and or public prosecutor.
He also said that Syazlin had often contradicted the stand taken by the DPP, which had caused “embarrassment in her capacity as the ministry’s lawyer”.
Her husband is also the press secretary to the housing minister.
Today, Syazlin responded to Thomas saying that her appointment as the counsel for Adib’s family did not need the AG’s approval as she was not representing the prosecutor in the inquest.
“In this instance, I was appointed by the minister as a lawyer and not a prosecutor.”
She also refuted claims of conflict of interest, stating that Adib’s family was not suing the ministry or the Fire and Rescue Department.
There were previous reports that Adib may have been injured while a fire truck was reversing.
Syazlin said Adib’s father said his son was happy when his colleagues visited him while he was in hospital.
“If it is true he was hit by his friends, would Adib be happy when he saw them at the hospital?”
She also defended her views which were said to have contradicted the DPP, saying it was her job as a lawyer, in representing her clients, to assist the coroner in the investigation.
“Can’t an inquest question the views and theories of experts?”
Syazlin also questioned why the AG touched on the fact that her husband was an aide to minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She said that from the very beginning, she was representing the ministry and Adib’s family pro bono.
“I felt wronged when the AG dragged my husband into the issue.”
Adib, 24, died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17, 2018, following injuries sustained during a riot outside the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya on Nov 27.