The trial of 18 students of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) charged with murdering and injuring naval cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain turned emotional today when the second accused openly apologised to the victim’s parents during the proceedings.
Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, 23, also told High Court judge Datuk Azman Abdullah that Zulfarhan missed his parents and wanted to ask for their forgiveness.
Zulfarhan’s mother, who was seated at the public gallery, was seen in tears when Muhammad Azamuddin recalled the moment.
He said it happened on June 1, 2017 when they (Muhammad Azamuddin and Zulharfan) were in a room belonging to a Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) student, who is a friend of Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, the first accused in the case.
“Muhammad Akmal was out then to buy Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS). Zulfarhan vomited and while I was cleaning the vomit, he apologised to me because he was troubling me. I said to him that it was all right because we were friends and he also said he missed his parents and wanted to ask for their forgiveness.
“He said ‘Along misses mum and dad’, and I said ‘if you miss them, call them’, but he said it was all right because he did not want to trouble his parents and that his mother was not well. I found it weird then to hear him talking like that.
“He also recalled the time I stayed at his house in Johor Bahru. I told him that whatever happened, I’ll be with him, that he had to be strong as the following week was our examination and he said he cared for me,” said Muhammad Azamuddin, adding that Zulfarhan’s condition was weak then.
He said Zulfarhan then told him he wanted to lie down.
“He lay on a blanket with his face down. A few minutes later Muhammad Akmal noticed that Zulfarhan was not moving and called out his name, but there was no response from him (Zulfarhan). I then held his hands and they were cold,” he added.
Muhammad Azamuddin said he then called for an ambulance and when the paramedics arrived, they examined Zulfarhan and then took him to Serdang Hospital.
“At the hospital, Muhammad Akmal and I did the registration at the emergency ward. The staff at the hospital said they could still detect Zulfarhan’s pulse and at 9.30pm we were informed by a doctor that Zulfarhan is dead,” he added.
Earlier during the proceedings, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad, representing Muhammad Azamuddin, asked his client whether he had something to say to Zulharfan’s parents and this prompted the accused to make the apology.
“I, on behalf of my friends, want to apologise for what happened…Although he has left us to be with his Creator, my friends and I always pray for him,” he said, adding that he first met Zulfarhan in 2014.
He said he did use a steam iron on Zulharfan on June 22, 2017, but did not place it on him.
“I only waved the steam iron on his shoulder and thigh…there was no contact,” he said, adding that he took the iron after a friend, by the name of Mubin, said that Zulfarhan had to be taught a lesson.
When asked why he did it despite being Zulharfan’s good friend, Muhammad Azamuddin said it was just to serve as a piece of advice.
“I didn’t know that my action could cause him injury because at that time, there were no marks and I had no intention to hurt him, what more to kill him,” he added.
Last July 31, the High Court ordered 18 UPNM students to enter their defence on charges of murdering and injuring Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain.
Five of them, comprising Muhammad Akmal, Muhammad Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri, are charged with murder, while Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali is charged with abetting in Zulfarhan’s murder.
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 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 Ismail, Muhammad Adib Iman Fuad Adi Sany and Mohamad Syazwan Musa.
They are 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 a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine, upon conviction.
The offence was allegedly committed at room 03-05 of the Jebat hostel building in UPNM between 2.30am and 5.30am on May 21, 2017.
The hearing continues tomorrow.