By Rahmat Khairulrijal | New Straits Times
Proceedings in the High Court today turned teary-eyed as the accused recounted the last moments that he spent with National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, before the victim died.
Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, who is the second accused to take the witness stand, could not hold back his tears, as he apologised to the family members of Zulfarhan who were at the trial.
Zulfarhan’s mother Hawa Osman, 56, was also seen wiping her tears during the proceedings when the accused said Zulfarhan’s last words was that he missed his parents.
During the examination in chief by counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad who represented the first accused Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Azamuddin said he was with Zulfarhan in a hostel room on June 1, 2017, when the cadet’s health deteriorated.
“He vomited and suffered from diarrhoea that night… when I was cleaning up his vomit.
“Zulfarhan apologised as he felt that he was a burden.
“I said never mind as we are best friends before he said that he missed his parents.
“I told him to use my handphone to call his parents but he refused to do so, as he did want his parents to be worried about him.
“He wanted to apologise to his parents and I told him he needed to be strong and I will be with him no matter what …,” he said.
He said Zulfarhan then said he was going to lie down.
The victim then become unconscious and his hand turned cold, he added.
“We called an ambulance and they (paramedics) performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before they took Zulfarhan to the Serdang Hospital”,” he said, adding that the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Earlier, the accused admitted that he was the one who had pressed the steam iron on Zulfarhan’s thigh and shoulder during an “interrogation” which took place on the night of May 22.
Amer Hamzah: Please describe your relationship with Zulfarhan.
Azamuddin: We were best friends… Even though he has passed away, we always wished him in our prayers… ’no man left behind’ is our creed and that is why we were very close.
Amer Hamzah: If both of you were best friends, why did you do that (press the steam iron) on him?
Azamuddin: When I did that, I did not know realise that it would harm him… I did that because I wanted to teach him a lesson.
Amer Hamzah: Do you have anything to say to Zulfarhan’s family?
Azamuddin: I would like to apologise (to the family) for this incident.
He said the death of Zulfarhan was unexpected and he did not have any intention to hurt the victim.
Azamuddin said he was detained together with Muhammad Akmal after they spoke with the policeman at the police post at Serdang Hospital.
“A group of policemen arrived and handcuffed us together before they took us to the police station.
“We were placed in a meeting room before they took us to UPNM at about 1am for investigation,” he said, adding that about 32 other cadets were also detained to facilitate investigations.
He added that they were then taken to Sepang police headquarters via a UPNM bus at about 3am.
Muhammad Akmal, Azamuddin, Afif Najmudin, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, and Mohamad Shobirin are jointly charged with murdering Zulfarhan; while Abodul Hakeem Mohd Ali is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
All six face the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
The six and 13 other students, all aged 23, also pleaded not guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Zulfarhan with the intention of extracting a confession from Zulfarhan for allegedly stealing a laptop.
The offence was allegedly committed at room 04-10 Jebat Hostel Block, UPNM, between 2.30am and 5.30am on May 21 and in the same room between 1.30am and 4.30am on May 22.
Zulfarhan was found with burn marks and bruises in an apartment in Serdang at about 8pm on June 1, and was pronounced dead at about 10pm at the Serdang Hospital.
The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah.