KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — The counsel for the federal government in the inquest of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death had quit due to “new turn of events”, Malaysiakini reported.
Lawyer Syazlin Mansor said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamarudin was informed of her decision on Saturday.
The same report, however, quoted Zuraida as saying that Syazlin had been “instructed to revoke”.
“I went to meet the minister on Saturday and we discussed the matter,” the lawyer was quoted as saying.
“After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to withdraw,” she told Malaysiakini.
Syazlin said she had served the government on a pro bono basis. The news portal reported that the lawyer was tight-lipped when pressed to explain her decision.
“It is my own decision,” she said when asked if she had been instructed to withdraw.
Zuraida when asked whether the instruction for Syazlin to withdraw came from her or the Attorney-General’s Chambers, replied via text message that the latter was “instructed to revoke”.
“Revoked (because) not in line with norms,” the minister added when asked to elaborate.
Malaysiakini also reached Attorney General Tommy Thomas, who refused to explain.
“I have no comment,” Thomas was quoted as saying.
Syazlin announced her withdrawal at the Coroner’s Court in Shah Alam this morning, in a shock move that had since fuelled speculation.
Among those who questioned the move was former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who called the decision a “heavy matter” immediately after the lawyer’s withdrawal was reported.
Her withdrawal automatically nullifies forensic specialist Shahrom Abdul Wahid’s appointment as an expert witness, Syazlin told the Coroner’s Court.
Shahrom courted controversy when he told the inquest that Adib sustained injuries after he was pulled out of an Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) vehicle and assaulted.
The incident took place on November 27 during the two-day Seafield temple riots.