Malaysiakini Letter

Inquest should go from the known to unknown, not the reverse

Ravinder Singh  |  Published:

LETTER | As a layperson, I am puzzled why the inquest into firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim's death is not starting with an inquiry into the nature of the injuries sustained by him, i.e. by adducing medical, forensic evidence of the nature of injuries and their probable cause if the cause cannot be determined with accuracy.

Why do I feel thus? A few doctors were involved in the emergency treatment of the person and later performed the post-mortem and forensic examination of the body.

Their evidence should be taken first to establish the nature and cause, or probable cause, of the injuries. If their evidence strongly points to "severe, brutal attack" only then would it be necessary to enquire into the attack, how it happened and who might be responsible for it.

On the other hand, if the medical evidence does not show any signs of "severe, brutal attack" or of any injuries that could be sustained by being hit with helmets, sticks, bricks, et cetera, then what could have caused the injuries? A vehicle running over the person?

"Severe, brutal attack" would surely leave clearly visible marks on the body - blue-black marks, skin ruptures, swellings, blod clots, a broken nose, et cetera.

There have been claims that there were no signs of a "severe, brutal,attack" on Adib's body. Why is the inquest not determining this first?

On the contrary, there are claims that the ribcage was fractured. Can a "severe, brutal attack" fracture the ribcage without leaving clearly visible marks on the body, not only in the ribcage area, but the other parts as well?

If medical evidence is that the ribcage was not fractured due to a "severe, brutal attack", then the line of enquiry should be what else could have caused the ribcage fractures? Were there other vehicles there? Could anything heavy have fallen on the person?

Right now, the inquest is proceeding on the "assumption" that he was "severely, brutally attacked" as stated in the police report. But pictures of him in the National Heart Institute, where his face can be seen, do not seem to show any injuries.

It is my humble opinion that investigations should proceed from the known to the unknown. What is known is the injuries sustained. What is unknown is how they were sustained.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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