Driving without licence no excuse for cops to open fire, dead teen’s mum tells court

Picture shows (from left) Aminulrasyid’s sister, Nor Azura, mother, Norsiah Mohamad, lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa koya, posing with a letter from the prime minister weeks promising a fair and transparent investigation. — File pic
Picture shows (from left) Aminulrasyid’s sister, Nor Azura, mother, Norsiah Mohamad, lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa koya, posing with a letter from the prime minister weeks promising a fair and transparent investigation. — File pic

SHAH ALAM, March 9 — Underaged Aminulrasyid Amzah may have breached the law by driving without a licence but that does not justify his fatal shooting by police in 2010, his mother Norsiah Mohamad told the court here today.

Norsiah, 65, said the fatal shooting of her son was a “heavy” offence when asked to compare it against the gravity of his actions in fleeing from the police.

“That is a heavy offence. He just drove without licence but why he was shot until (he) died?” Norsiah told the High Court this afternoon in her family’s civil suit against the government over her then 15-year-old son’s death.

However, under cross-examination, Norsiah agreed with a suggestion that the police officer who was in pursuit of a speeding car in Shah Alam that night, Corporal Jenain Subi, didn’t know that the person behind the wheel was a child.

She had also agreed with Jenain’s lawyer Zulkepli Omar that fleeing from a police roadblock is an offence.

Cross-examined by Federal Counsel Nurhasmanita Abdul Manap, Norsiah agreed that the shooting could have been avoided if her son had stopped at a police roadblock, but also pointed out that he would have been “afraid” as he did not have a driving licence.

Although the death of her youngest child happened over four years ago, the mother of eight still appeared emotional at times during her testimony.

Norsiah, who said she was close to Aminulrasyid and knew all his friends, described her son as a cheerful child who was active and a smart student.

Aminulrasyid, who Norsiah said had never driven a car before that fateful day, would usually let her know when he walked out to play football in the afternoons.

In her witness statement that was tendered in court, Norsiah said she was “sad, shocked and (in) trauma” when she found out about her son’s death.

“I seek justice for the deceased, my son, Aminulrasyid bin Amzah who was killed and in a cruel way that was against the law at the age of 15,” she added later.

Aminulrasyid, 15, was shot dead by police on April 26, 2010 in the Selangor capital city in an early-morning car chase after failing to stop at a police roadblock.

In April 2013, Aminulrasyid’s sister Nor Azura Amzah and mother filed a civil suit against Jenain and four others – namely the Shah Alam police chief, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who was then the Selangor police chief, the Inspector-General of Police and the government.

Jenain was initially found guilty and sentenced to five years’ jail by the Sessions Court in 2011 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in causing Aminulrasyid’s death during the car chase in the Shah Alam suburbs.

He had admitted to firing 21 bullets from his sub-machine gun at the car Aminulrasyid was driving, but denied he had opened fire with the intention to kill the schoolboy.

Jenain became a free man when the High Court acquitted him in 2012 after ruling that he had opened fire with the intention to immobilise the car instead of causing Aminulrasyid’s death.

The Court of Appeal later upheld the acquittal in November 2013, saying in an unanimous ruling that the High Court had not erred in its findings on the intention.

There is no room for further appeal in the criminal case as cases that originate at the Sessions Court would end at the Court of Appeal.

The hearing before High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim resumes tomorrow afternoon, where Aminulrasyid’s friend Muhammad Azamuddin Omar – then a 15-year-old in the passenger seat during the shooting – is expected to testify.

Norsiah is the first witness for Aminulrasyid’s family, with the dead teen’s sister Tuti Shahninza Anom Amzah – who owned the car he was driving in that night – also appearing today as a witness in the first day of the hearing.

In her testimony earlier today, Tuti disagreed that there was a parang (machete) in her car that Aminulrasyid had driven off without the knowledge of his family members.

Following the fatal shooting, police had previously said that there was a weapon inside the car.

N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya represented Aminulrasyid’s family, while Nurhasmanita and Senior Federal Counsel Normastura Ayub represented the second to the four defendants. 

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