By Rahmat Khairulrijal | New Straits Times

Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain — NSTP

The High Court has fixed Nov 2 to decide whether six accused in the murder of navy cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain should be hanged for the offence.

This was after lawyers representing the accused wrapped up their case today, five years since their clients were charged.

High Court judge Datuk Azman Abdullah fixed Nov 2 for decision after both parties completed their respective submissions at the end of the defence case.

The six accused include Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, Muhammad Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali.

All pleaded not guilty to murdering and abetting in the murder of Zulfarhan at room number 04-10 of Jebat Hostel in Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22, 2017.

The charges were framed under sections 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The six, all aged 22, along with 12 others accused were also charged with voluntarily causing hurt to the victim.

The 12 are – Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri, Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar, Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhammad Hasif, Mohammad Adib Iman, and Mohamad Syazwan.

The offence falls under section 330 of the same Code which carries a maximum seven years’ imprisonment and a fine.

Earlier, the prosecution in its submissions said Dr Salmah Arshad from the Serdang Hospital who conducted the post-mortem, maintained that Zulfarhan succumbed to severe burn injuries.

The prosecution also submitted that the accused were being inconsistent in their defence statements.

“The statements by defence expert witnesses were unprofessional and cannot challenge the cause of death as decided by Dr Salmah,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Datin Kalmizah Salleh said.

Earlier, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad argued that there were contradicting statements by two medical experts on the cause of the deceased’s death.

He said Dr Rohayu Shahar Adnan who is the 19th defence witness disputed Dr Salmah’s finding on the victim’s cause of death.

Amer said Dr Rohayu opined that there was no continuation or correlation between the burn injuries sustained by the deceased and the cause of death.

Dr Salmah had testified that Zulfarhan’s death was due to a combination of hypervolemia, heart, and kidney complications.

A total of 31 prosecution witnesses and 20 defence witnesses including all the accused, took the stand to testify in the trial which began Jan 29, 2018.

All the accused were ordered to enter their defence on July 31, 2019.

Zulfarhan who died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1, 2017, was believed to have been abused after being accused of stealing his friend’s laptop.

The victim was reported to have suffered burns on the chest, arms, and legs, believed to have been caused by a steam iron.