KUALA LUMPUR: The fate of 18 Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) students on charges of murdering, injuring and abetting the murder of marine cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain four years ago will be known on Nov 2.

High Court Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah fixed the date after hearing the submission by both parties at the end of the defence case.

"The court set at 10 am on Nov 2 for a decision," he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datin Kalmizah Salleh argued the statement of Dr Salmah Arshad from Serdang Hospital Forensic Department, who was the sixth prosecution witness who conducted the post-mortem, was consistent and never contradicted with any other cause of death.

"Dr Salmah found that the victim succumbed to severe burn injuries while the 19th defence witness, Dr Rohayu Shahar Adnan, head of Sungai Buloh Hospital Forensics Department, found that there was a granulation tissue in the victim's lungs.

"Therefore, the victim suffered pneumonia between 10 and 14 days after infection. While the statement of the 31st prosecution witness who is the Kuala Lumpur Hospital Forensic Medicine Department head, Dr Mohamad Azaini Ibrahim, 58, stated that granulation tissue can be traced on the second week of the infection, which is seven to 14 days, " she said.

Kalmizah also argued that former UPNM medical officer Harniza Kosnan also said Zulfarhan had never complained of shortness of breath or heart disease.

Yesterday, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said that there were contradicting statements by two medical experts on the cause of the deceased's death.

Meanwhile, Kalmizah said the method used by Dr Salmah in determining Zulfarhan's death was appropriate and reasonable.

On July 31, 2019, the High Court ordered 18 UPNM students to enter their defence on charges of murdering, injuring and abetting the murder of Zulfarhan

Five accused, namely Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Muhammad Azamuddin Mod Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri, are facing charges of murdering Zulfarhan while Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali was charged with abetting the murder.

The offence was allegedly committed in room 04-10, accommodation block, Jebat Hostel, UPNM, between 4.45 am and 5.45 am on May 22, 2017, under Section 302 and Section 109 of the Penal Code, which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The six are also accused with 12 others of voluntarily causing hurt to Zulfarhan Osman to extort a confession from him over a laptop theft.

They are Mohd Hafiz Fauzan Ismail, Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri, Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar, Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhammad Hasif, Muhammad Adib Iman and Mohamad Syazwan.

They were charged with intentionally causing hurt to the victim, to obtain a confession that he had stolen a laptop, under Section 330 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same code, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and a fine.

The offence was allegedly committed at room 03-05, Jebat Hostel Block, UPNM, between 2.30 am and 5.30 am on May 21, 2017.