KUALA LUMPUR: All 20 defence witnesses in the murder trial of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) marine cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, have finished testifying in the High Court here.
They comprise 18 UPNM students accused of murdering, abetting the murder and injuring the victim, as well as Sungai Buloh Hospital Forensics Department chief Dr Rohayu Shahar Adnan and another UPNM student, Muhammad Alif Farhan Aerosni – the final witness who testified on Tuesday.
During the proceedings on Tuesday, deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Joy Jothi told the court that the 30th prosecution witness, medical officer Dr Harniza Kosnan, would be called to refute Dr Rahayu’s claims over the possibility that Zulfarhan had health problems.
Harniza when reading her witness statement today said that Zulfarhan’s health status when he was admitted to the university was “Fit Everywhere” (FE), meaning he was fit to undergo military training at UPNM.
She said the last time Zulfarhan had undergone the medical examination was during his admission in 2014.
During the examination-in-chief by DPP Joy, Harniza said the “FE” status was given after a trainee underwent a thorough physical examination and was found to be free of any disease or disability.
DPP Joy: Doctor, what is meant by “Fit”?
Harniza: During admission, a trainee has to undergo a health check, “Fit” means the (trainee’s) overall health level from top to bottom is normal.
DPP Joy: What was Zulfarhan’s status?
Harniza: “FE” (Fit Everywhere), his overall health status was fit to undergo all forms of training or military activities at UPNM.
Harniza, who worked as a medical officer at UPNM from 2013 to 2018, added that throughout Zulfarhan’s time at the university, he had never come to the medical centre complaining of breathing difficulty, heart disease, or any other illness.
According to her, Zulfarhan had only come to the medical centre four times, due to fever and pain in his left knee.
Meanwhile, during cross-examination by defence counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad, who represented Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal and Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, Harniza agreed that she had no expertise in the fields of autopsy and pathology.
Harniza also agreed that the evidence on Zulfarhan’s health status was based only on records at UPNM.
On July 31, 2019, the High Court had ordered 18 UPNM students to enter their defence on charges of murdering, injuring and abetting the murder of Zulfarhan.
Five of the accused, namely Akmal, Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri were charged with murder, while Abdoul Hakeem Ali was charged with abetting in the murder of Zulfarhan.
They allegedly committed the offence at room 04-10, of the Jebat hostel building in UPNM, between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.
The charges against the accused were made under Section 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which carry the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
The six, along with 12 others, were also ordered to enter their defence on charges of injuring the victim.
The 12 are Mohd Hafiz Fauzan Ismail, Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri, Muhammad Sufi Mustapha, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar, Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhammad Hasif Ismail, Muhammad Adib Iman Fuad Adi Sany and Mohamad Syazwan Musa.
They were charged with voluntarily causing hurt against the victim for the purpose of forcing the latter to admit to the alleged theft of a laptop, according to Section 330 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which imposes maximum imprisonment of seven years, and a fine, upon conviction.
The trial before Judge Azman Abdullah continues next week.