Not likely Adib was pulled out from van by mob as he would have protected himself if attacked.
Experiments are not needed, as there are 1,001 ways on how someone can fall, forensic expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi told the coroner’s court at the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
He said reconstruction can prove to be a waste of time in Adib’s case, as there were many ways the fireman could have fallen on the curb by the side of the road during the early morning of Nov 27 last year.
Hafizam said this under questioning by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the family of the deceased at the inquest.
Syazlin was questioning why Hafizam did not carry out experiments to see how Adib could have fallen on the curb and the injuries resulted from the fall.
Hafizam explained that it was not normal practice for forensic pathologists to carry out experiments to explain how a victim could have sustained his or her injuries unless there were concrete clues on what transpired when the victim sustained the injuries and what could have caused them.
“We don’t just blindly conduct experiments in the field of forensics.
“In this case, we can’t say for sure that it was definitely the curb that caused injuries to the victim (Adib).
“And as there are 1,001 ways how someone can fall, that is why reconstruction is not suitable. The findings (of the reconstruction) can be debatable and it is a waste of time,” he said on the 35th day of the inquest.
Hafizam had theorised that Adib’s injuries were caused by him falling and hitting a hard, wide, and rough surface.
Earlier during the day, Hafizam said that without any eyewitness who can testify to exactly what happened to Adib on Nov 27, the most probable explanation was that the fireman went out of the EMRS van on his own accord.
Under questioning by Syazlin, Hafizam explained that there was no eyewitness who saw the fireman being forcefully pulled out from the EMRS van.
“I take into account the testimonies of witnesses including the EMRS van driver who was with the victim and the post mortem report which showed no element of him (Adib) being pulled out.
“Since none of the injuries was consistent with him being pulled out, we can conclude that the victim had got out of the van himself,” said Hafizam.
Further defending his view that Adib was not pulled out of an EMRS van by a mob, Hafizam said the fireman would have protected himself from the attackers.
He told the coroner’s court that it is “human instincts” for a person to react in defence when someone is about to get hurt.
“If someone had come towards Adib, he would have known about it and tried to protect himself.
“He would have even given the person a few punches,” Hafizam said.
When Syazlin pointed out that the uniform worn by Adib that early morning had missing buttons – which can be used as evidence that the fireman was forcefully pulled out – Hafizam said that he was not sure that the uniform was indeed the one worn by the fireman during the incident.
He said that this was because the uniform given to him – which allegedly was the one worn by Adib during the incident – did not have tearing that was consistent with his injuries.
“For his trousers, I am confident that it was the one worn by him (during the incident), as there was dirt and tearing that matched the injury on his right knee.
“But the uniform was clean and there was no tear on the left elbow,” he added.
At the end of today’s hearing, Hafizam agreed with Syazlin’s suggestion that he could not confirm the exact object which had caused the injuries to Adib’s chest and subsequently which led to his death.
He, however, reiterated his stand that Adib’s injuries were not due to being hit by the EMRS van door.
Earlier, the inquest got off to a fiery start with Syazlin beginning her cross-examination of Hafizam with questions on his alleged failure to provide information to the ministry’s forensic expert, Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.
She asked Hafizam whether he had been “uncooperative” in providing the post-mortem report, CT scans and other relevant documents when Shahrom came to see him at his office.
However, Hafizam said all documents and reports related to Adib were put on the desk of HKL Forensic Medicine Department head Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood.
“We gave him sufficient time to read all of them,” he said, adding that he respected Shahrom who had been his teacher in university.
Hafizam said Shahrom had contacted him and told him that he had been approached by the ministry to give his expert opinion in Adib’s case.
Syazlin then asked if Hafizam had asked Shahrom to provide his official letter of appointment from the ministry.
To this, Hafizam said Shahrom had informed him that he (Shahrom) was representing the ministry.
“How does this issue assist in our case?” he added.
But Syazlin continued to question Hafizam’s actions, including his experiment on reversing the medical van at the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station last month.
She asked Hafizam whether he had complained that he was put under the hot sun with no firemen to assist him during the experiment.
“There was no officer to tell us the do’s and don’ts at the fire station,” he said.
“What happened that day was, my medical students were scolded when we put our things on a table. There is no issue for me to bring this up.”
Conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin then told coroner Rofiah Mohamad that Hafizam had given his explanations.
To this, Syazlin said she had asked the questions on the incident at the fire station as she wanted to clarify that the firemen there were out on the job.
Hafizam was also questioned by Adib’s family lawyer yesterday over his post-mortem report.
The inquest continues on Friday (May 17).