‘Impossible’ for parang handle to cause Adib’s rib injuries, inquest told

Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi attends the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death at the Shah Alam High Court March 26, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi attends the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death at the Shah Alam High Court March 26, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SHAH ALAM, March 26 — The grip of a parang or similar object could not have made the wound pattern found on fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s body, the Coroner’s Court heard today.

Resuming his testimony from last week, Hospital Kuala Lumpur medical forensics department officer Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi was answering government lawyer Hamdan Hamzah who asked if a parang handle could be responsible for the seven fractured ribs at the left rear side of Adib’s body.

“The possibility of sustaining back injuries where seven ribs were fractured following an assault by the back of a parang in this case is impossible.

“If the weapon was aimed at the deceased’s body, the only possibility of fracture is the bone that receives the impact after being struck,” he told Judge Rofiah Mohamad who is sitting as coroner for the inquest.

Dr Ahmad, who is the 24th witness, reiterated that the seven left ribs were broken in a straight vertical line.

He then demonstrated in court a normal swing using a parang’s handle to show how it could not generate the force needed to break all seven ribs in the manner that happened to the late fireman.

Government lawyer Hamdan Hamzah asked Dr Ahmad what position could the victim be in to have sustained such injuries.

“Based on the fractured third to seventh rear ribs, it is possible that the deceased was in a standing position when he received an impact from a narrow, hard and upright object (to his back),” Dr Ahmad added.

He said that based on his post-mortem examination, there were no defensive wounds on Adib’s upper limbs which would have indicated an attempt to protect himself from being beaten or retaliate in an assault.

Dr Ahmad, who conducted the autopsy on Adib, testified last week that Adib’s injuries were inconsistent with assault as alleged.

The lawyer for Adib’s family, Kamaruzaman A. Wahab, had claimed that Adib’s injuries were caused by someone striking Adib with a weapon, to which Dr Ahmad voiced his disagreement.

“The injuries to the seven ribs on his back happened because it was linear to the impact position. Even in a bent over position, such a movement cannot result in the fracture of the third to seventh ribs.

“As I have told the court earlier, it is impossible for one to perform a swing with that posture as it must be direct and upright,” he said during the cross-examination by Kamaruzaman.

Dr Ahmad pointed out that even if one were to wield the object with both hands, there was simply not enough force to be built up to cause the fractures.

Explaining why there was lack of noticeable bruises following the direct impact, Dr Ahmad said this was due to the lack of friction immediately upon being struck by an object.

“When the impact was received, he (Adib) fell forward and in this case a thin and blunt surface may cause blood capillaries to rupture.

“However there may not be enough of them rupturing to cause bruises visible to the naked eye. Still it cannot be denied that there is an impact as shown with the fractures,” he said.

Lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who was representing the Housing and Local Government ministry and the Fire Department, then asked Dr Ahmad whether Adib had been forcefully pulled out of the vehicle or disembarked on his own during the riot.

“In my personal view, the deceased had gone out of the Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) vehicle on his own free will.

“This is corroborated by evidence showing that there were no injuries sustained on the left side of the deceased’s body that may suggest any form of violence or injuries to pull out the deceased from the EMRS,” he said.

He maintained that his testimony on the possible scenario leading to Adib’s injuries caused by an object similar to the EMRS vehicle door frame, was based on existing medical evidence.

The inquest resumes at 10.30am tomorrow.

Muhammad Adib was critically injured in the early morning of November 27 after he and his team members from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where a riot was taking place.

The fireman was taken to Subang Jaya Medical Centre after he was found injured, before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment, where he succumbed to his wounds on December 17.