SHAH ALAM, March 10 — Fifteen-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah was so “afraid” that he pressed down on the accelerator instead of the brake after seeing the police in pursuit of his elder sister’s car, which he had taken for a midnight joyride in 2010, his friend related in court today.
The schoolboy knew he was well below the legal driving age and had no licence, and ultimately paid the price with his life, after police officers opened fire on the speeding car late at night on April 26, 2010.
Azamuddin Omar, a childhood friend of Aminulrasyid of the same age who was in the passenger seat beside the driver, told the High Court here he remembered hearing sirens and seeing flashing lights as the police gave chase in their patrol cars after the duo failed to stop at a police roadblock in a Shah Alam suburb.
He was testifying in the civil lawsuit filed by Aminulrasyid’s family against the police, whom they blamed for the death of the teen, then in Form Three.
Now a 20-year-old college student, Azamuddin said Aminulrasyid did not stop because he was fearful.
“He felt afraid,” he told Zulkepli Omar, the lawyer for Corporal Jenain Subi, the policeman at the centre of the civil suit, during cross-examination.
“Afraid of his mother,” Azamuddin later added.
During questioning, Azamuddin testified that he had advised Aminulrasyid to stop driving but said his friend remained silent.
He also told the court that Aminulrasyid said he felt sorry for his mother and wanted to return the car — which he had taken without permission.
Aminulrasyid was also sorry for flouting traffic laws, Azamuddin said.
The son of a police officer, Azamuddin later confirmed to the lawyer of Aminulrasyid’s family that he had not expected the police to open fire just because his friend had no driving licence or was speeding.
Azamuddin told the court today that he had first realised that they were being shot at when the car tyres burst due to gunfire, estimating that he heard a total of 15 shots by the police.
In his police report made 12 hours after the fatal shooting, Azamuddin said he saw the “last” shot enter his friend’s head, who then slumped into his lap with a bleeding hole in the head.
When repeatedly quizzed by the government’s Senior Federal Counsel Normastura Ayub, he said he was not sure if there were further shots fired after his friend was shot.
But he later told Aminulrasyid’s kin’s lawyer N. Surendran that it was possible that more shots were fired, while his witness statement tendered in court stated that there were more shots.
He confirmed today that he did not know who had shot Aminulrasyid.
In his witness statement, Azamuddin confirmed that both of them did not use any weapons to threaten the police during the chase.
In April 2013, Aminulrasyid’s sister Nor Azura Amzah and mother Norsiah Mohamad 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, who was in one of two police cars that gave chase and previously admitted to firing 21 shots, had already been acquitted of causing Aminulrasyid’s death.
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.
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.
The hearing before High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim resumes on May 5, when the investigating officer for the case, Chief Inspector Mazli Jusuh, is expected to testify as a subpoenaed witness for Aminulrasyid’s family.