The inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim took a twist this morning as the lawyer representing two interested parties in the case withdrew from the proceedings, rendering Dr Shahrom’s testimony invalidated.
Syazlin Mansor, the lawyer representing the housing and local government ministry, announced her withdrawal as the proceedings began for the 37th day of hearing at the coroner’s court.
“I am withdrawing as the representative for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the fire department and the family of Adib,” she told the inquest today as she fought back tears.
She told coroner Rofiah Mohamad that her withdrawal would render void the testimonies from former forensic doctor Shahrom Abd Wahid, who is the 29th witness.
Ahmad Taufiq Baharum, the lawyer for Adib’s family, then informed the court that he had no more witnesses to question.
It was reported that Syazlin said she decided to withdraw from the inquest due to new developments.
Describing it as a “new turn of events”, she was, however, tight-lipped on the details.
According to Syazlin, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin contacted her last Friday, following which they met up the next day.
“I went to meet the minister on Saturday and we discussed the matter.
“After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to withdraw,” she was quoted as saying.
She added that she was involved in the matter on a pro bono basis.
“It is my own decision,” Syazlin said when quizzed about whether she had been instructed to withdraw.
Meanwhile, Zuraida, when asked whether the instruction for Syazlin to withdraw came from her or the Attorney-General’s Chambers, replied via text message, “Instructed to revoke.”
Pressed further for clarification, Zuraida, who is on a working visit to Kenya, said: “Revoked (because) not in line with norms.” However, she did not elaborate.
Contacted later, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said: “I have no comment.”
Earlier, Syazlin had said her withdrawal would also nullify Prof Dr Shahrom Abdul Wahid’s appointment as an expert witness.
Shahrom had told the court that Adib sustained his injuries after he was pulled out of an Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) vehicle and assaulted on Nov 27 during the Seafield temple riots.
His testimony contradicted that of two other experts, who told the court that Adib fell from the vehicle and that his injuries were due to being hit by the vehicle when it backed into him in an attempt to escape an advancing mob.