Naval Cadet Murder: Students in probe not randomly picked says investigating officer

KUALA LUMPUR: The Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) students who were detained to assist in the probe on the murder of naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain were not picked randomly, the High Court here was told today.

Senior investigating officer from the Criminal Investigation Division of the Sepang district police headquarters, ASP Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz said the names of the students concerned were given by the first and second accused in the case,Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal and Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, respectively.

“The students were not picked randomly and their names were given by the first and second accused.

“The names were later given to a police officer conducting preliminary investigation if the case at the Serdang Hospital,” he said during cross-examination by lawyer  Datuk Ranjit Singh Dhillon, who is representing third accused, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, during the hearing today.

Yesterday, Wan Azirul Nizam , who is the 29th prosecution witness, told the court that 30 UPNM students were detained to assist investigation.

When asked on the eye witness in the May 22, 2017  incident when Zulfarhan Osman was beaten up and a hot iron placed on him, Wan Azirul Nizam said they were among the 30 who were detained.

Questioned by lawyer AG Kalidas , representing Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir and Muhammad Hasif Ismail, whose laptops were missing in the case, Wan Azirul Nizam said they belonged to Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi (first accused) and Muhammad Ilham Zamree, who was the 27th prosecution witness.

He also told the court that the case investigating officer had searched Zulfarhan Osma’s room and locker at the UPNM hostel for the laptops, but could not find them.

He also said there was no proof on the existence of the laptops, like sale purchase receipts, except on the claim by the accused.

Six UPNM students, namely Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi, Muhammad Azamuddin, Muhammad Najib, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat, Mohamad Shobirin Sabri and Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali pleaded not guilty to murdering and abetting the murder of Zulfarhan Osman at room number 04-10 of the Jebat Hostel in UPNM between 4.45 am and 5.45 am on May 22, 2017.

The charges against them, all aged 23,  were made under Sections 302 and 109 of the Penal Code, which carry the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The six along with 13 other accused were also charged with voluntarily causing hurt to extort a confession from the victim, read together with Section 34 of the same sentence which carries maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine upon conviction.

The prosecution is conducted by Kuala Lumpur prosecution director Othman Abdullah and deputy public prosecutor N. Joy Jothi.

The hearing before judge Datuk Azman Abdullah continues on April 23. – Bernama