Evidence shows Sarbaini’s death was accidental, not suicidal, pathologist tells Coroner


By Lisa Goh, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed was found to have died because of severe head injuries and positional asphyxia, a forensic pathologist told the Coroner’s court on Tuesday.

Associate Prof Dr Faridah Mohd Noor, who is attached to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC), said that based on a post-mortem she carried out on Ahmad Sarbaini on April 6, this year, he was found to have a total of 42 external and internal injuries.

“The pattern of injuries are consistent with a fall from height.

“His death was caused by severe head injuries and positional asphyxia due to fall from height,” she said when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Hanim Mohd Rashid Tuesday.

She explained that “positional asphyxia” happened because Ahmad Sarbaini could not breathe because there was too much blood around his mouth and nose area after he fell. He was found face down in a pool of blood.

She added that he had fallen on his out-stretched left arm (in an attempt to break his fall), which showed that he was still alive during the fall.

Dr Faridah placed his time of death between 7am and 11am on April 6.

She said that when she examined his body after she arrived at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) building on Jln Cochrane, she found his body still warm, but rigor mortis (stiffening of the joints and muscles of a body after death) had set in.

She told the court that the post-mortem also found Ahmad Sarbaini had fractured both his arms and legs, and he had lacerations, abrasions and cuts on his face. The right side of his chin, as well as his skull, was fractured.

She also said that based on the pattern of injuries, and circumstantial evidence, she found his death to be accidental, not suicidal or homicidal.

However, when questioned by lawyer Awtar Singh, who is representing Ahmad Sarbaini’s family, she said she could not conclude that his death was “accidental”.

“I can’t say. That is for the court to decide.

“But my findings were based on the fact that he did not have hesitation marks on his body (wound marks caused by persons who are suicidal), or defence wounds (wound marks caused by a person trying to fight off an attacker),” she said.

Awtar: But it is possible he was thrown out?

Dr Faridah: Possible, but it would not have been easy. There would surely be

signs of struggle between the deceased and the attacker.

Ahmad Sarbaini, 56, who was attached to the Port Klang Customs office, was

found dead on the first floor of the MACC building on April 6.

He was reported to have gone to the commission’s office to meet the

investigating officer assigned to corruption cases involving 62 customs


Hearing before Coroner Aizatul Akmal Maharani continues Wednesday.