Adib’s dad accuses AG of stopping lawyer from doing her job

Mohd Kassim Abdul Hamid with the family’s lawyer, Syazlin Mansor.

PETALING JAYA: The father of late fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim has accused the attorney-general (AG) of attempting to suppress Syazlin Mansor from carrying out her duties as a watching brief lawyer in the inquest into his son’s death.

Mohd Kassim Abdul Hamid also filed an ex-parte application requesting that committal proceedings be carried out against Tommy Thomas, saying he had unlawfully interfered in the cause of justice.

He said the inquest proceedings had been halted because of this, referring to the one-month delay when Syazlin withdrew as counsel for the family.

In the application, filed at the Shah Alam Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, Kassim also accused Tommy of wrongfully taking a stance and making a premature decision on behalf of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on the cause of Adib’s death.

He said after Tommy called for an inquest into his son’s death last year, Syazlin was tasked with representing three parties: the family, the housing and local government ministry and the fire and rescue department.

Nobody, including the AGC, protested this at the time, he said.

“However, on the 35th day of proceedings on May 27, 2019, lawyer Syazlin Mansor withdrew herself from representing KPKT, Bomba and Muhammad Adib’s family,” he said in the application sighted by FMT, referring to the ministry and the fire and rescue department.

He said after the ministry explained that Syazlin’s withdrawal was due to Tommy’s instruction that she should not represent the two government bodies, the AG had issued a statement outlining reasons for her dismissal.

But by saying that Syazlin had taken an active part in the inquest and had often contradicted the positions of the deputy public prosecutors (DPPs), he said, it was clear that Tommy had taken a stand on Adib’s cause of death.

“Each and every theory about the cause of death should be allowed to be reviewed and scrutinised in the inquest proceeding,” he said, adding that Tommy’s justifications were trivial, irrelevant and purposely done just as the inquest was coming to a close.

He also noted that Tommy only told Syazlin to pack her bags after she called a pathologist as an expert witness who testified that Adib was pulled out from an emergency medical rescue services (EMRS) van and beaten up.

He referred as well to an affidavit to the Court of Appeal in April this year by DPP Hamdan Hamzah, who said Adib’s death was not due to assault.

It also said a forensic pathologist had testified in the inquest that Adib’s injuries were not due to assault either.

“This is another premature statement that was released by the AGC (which) is under the responsibility and jurisdiction of Tommy Thomas, when investigations through inquest proceedings are still ongoing and (have not led to) any decision,” he said.

Adib was part of the team of firemen sent to the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple area on Nov 27 last year to put out fires set by rioters that night.

The 24-year-old died three weeks later at the National Heart Institute.

Coroner Rofiah Mohamad, who is also the coroner in Adib’s inquest, will decide next Wednesday whether to allow the ex-parte application.