Tommy Thomas: Bizarre – The coroner’s court ruling in the Adib case that the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was the result of a criminal act by “two or three” people…

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Bizarre, says ex-AG of coroner’s court ruling in Adib case

Tan Sri Tommy Thomas says even cops, with their expertise, couldn’t establish fireman’s death due to criminal act by 2-3 persons

Updated 3 hours ago · Published on 31 Jan 2021 1:00PM

KUALA LUMPUR – Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has characterised as “bizarre” the coroner’s court ruling that the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was the result of a criminal act by “two or three” people.

In his newly released book, My Story: Justice in the Wilderness, the former attorney-general questioned coroner Rofiah Mohamad’s findings, saying he was briefed that despite exhaustive investigations by different police units, the force had ruled out foul play as the 24-year-old’s cause of death.

“In late September 2019, the coroner released her findings. She decided that two or three persons had caused the death of Adib.”

It is “mind-boggling” that she arrived at this conclusion, when police, with their experience, expertise, manpower and resources, could not, he said.

“The coroner was also specific: two or three persons. Why not one? Why not five or more?”

The “bizarre” decision was criticised by many, he said, prompting officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to request that he appeal against the findings at the high court.

Despite believing that Rofiah’s findings and reasoning in her decision were wrong, Thomas said he decided against appealing on the basis that the coroner’s decision was for police to resume their investigations.

“The inspector-general of police immediately responded that the file had never been closed, and that police will continue investigating.

“I had no objections to this course of action.”

Additionally, Thomas said he phoned Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and asked that she revoke the appointment of private legal practitioner Syazlin Mansor as the ministry and Fire and Rescue Department’s representative.  

This was because Syazlin also represented Adib’s family in the inquest into his death.

“I was shocked to learn that the lawyer representing the Adib family was also representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry and Fire Department,” said Thomas.

“To compound matters, the husband of the private practitioner selected by Minister Zuraida was employed as her press secretary.

“If such conflict of interest raised eyebrows, a worse conflict arose between the lawyer’s duty to Adib’s family and that to the Housing Ministry and Fire Department.

“The interests of these three parties did not coincide: on the contrary, they diverged.”

He said Syazlin ought to have known that it was unacceptable for her to act for all three parties.

“Upon investigation, I discovered that during the inquest, the private practitioner often took positions in contradiction to those taken by our deputy public prosecutors, thus causing embarrassment to the ministry and Fire Department, which she also represented.”

While he did not object to Syazlin continuing to represent Adib’s family, he said her decision to withdraw completely from the inquest as it drew to a close was purely her choice.

“That decision was made by her, for reasons known to her.

“We were not responsible for that decision. I issued a media release on May 28, 2019 announcing the dropping of the private practitioner as a lawyer for the housing minister and Fire Department.

“That raised a storm of protest, and subsequently, the institution of contempt proceedings against me.”

At the time of writing his book, said Thomas, the contempt proceedings brought by Adib’s family were pending at the Court of Appeal.

Last August, IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said a proposal for a second inquest into the fireman’s death was awaiting the approval of the current AG, Tan Sri Idrus Azizan Harun.

Adib was seriously injured in a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya on November 27, 2018. He died on December 17 that year at the National Heart Institute.

My Story: Justice in the Wilderness is now available for purchase. Those interested in obtaining the book can do so via Gerakbudaya’s website. – The Vibes, January 31, 2021

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Ex-AG Tommy Thomas, in his book, calls coroner’s ruling on fireman Adib’s death ‘bizarre’

Sunday, 31 Jan 2021 03:05 PM MYT

BY JERRY CHOONG

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Tan Sri Tommy Thomas described the coroner court’s ruling of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death, which stated it was due to a criminal act by two or three persons, as “bizarre.”

A report by local news portal The Vibes was quoting from the former attorney general’s recently-published book My Story: Justice in the Wilderness.

Thomas said he found coroner Rofiah Mohamad’s findings unusual as he was briefed by the police that foul play had been ruled out as Adib’s cause of death, following detailed

investigations by different police units.

“In late September 2019 the coroner released her findings. She decided that two or three persons had caused the death of Adib. It is mind-boggling that she arrived at this conclusion, when police, with their experience, expertise, manpower and resources, could not.

“The coroner was also specific; two or three persons. Why not one? Why not five or more?” he wrote.

The coroner court’s decision resulted in officers from the Attorney General’s Chambers requesting that Thomas file an appeal against the findings at the High Court.

Stating that although he believes Rofiah’s findings and reasoning to be wrong, Thomas added that he ultimately decided not to appeal as the coroner’s decision was for the police to resume their investigations.

“The inspector-general of police immediately responded that the file had never been closed, and that police will continue investigating. I had no objections to this course of action,” Thomas said.

In the book, he also expressed shock upon learning that private legal practitioner Syazlin Mansor also represented Adib’s family for the inquest into his death. Syazlin was also a representative for the Housing and Local Government Ministry as well as the Fire and Rescue Department.

As such he contacted its minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to request that she revoke Syazlin’s appointment as representative.

“To compound matters, the husband of the private practitioner (Syazlin) selected by Zuraida was employed as her press secretary. If such conflict of interest raised eyebrows, a worse conflict arose between the lawyer’s duty to Adib’s family and that to the Housing Ministry and Fire Department.

“The interests of these three parties did not coincide: On the contrary, they diverged,” Thomas argued, adding that Syazlin should have realised it would have been unacceptable to act for all three parties.

Looking at the matter more closely, he discovered that during the inquest, Syazlin often took positions in contradiction to those taken by deputy public prosecutors, which in turn caused embarrassment to the ministry and Fire Department which she also represented.

Although Thomas did not object if the private legal practitioner wanted to continue in representing Adib’s family, he said her decision to withdraw completely from the inquest towards the end was purely her choice.

“That decision was made by her, for reasons known to her. We were not responsible for that decision. I issued a statement on May 28, 2019, announcing the dropping of the private practitioner as a lawyer for the housing minister and Fire Department.

“That raised a storm of protest, and subsequently, the institution of contempt proceedings against me,” he wrote.

Thomas added that at the time of writing his book, the contempt proceedings brought by Adib’s family were pending at the Court of Appeal.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said in August last year that a proposal for a second inquest into Adib’s death was awaiting the approval of current Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Azizan Harun.

The 24-year old fireman sustained serious injuries during a riot at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya on November 27, 2018. Although he regained consciousness several days later, he eventually died on December 17 that year at the National Heart Institute in KL.

Thomas’ 573-page book is now available for purchase via Gerakbudaya’s website.

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/01/31/ex-ag-tommy-thomas-in-his-book-calls-coroners-ruling-on-fireman-adibs-death/1945640

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