Verdict On Ahmad Sarbaini’s Death Should Be Accidental – MACC

(Bernama) — Accidental death. That should be the verdict of the inquest into the death of Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed, said Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Representing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the inquest, he said there was not an iota of evidence to suggest the death was due to homicide.

Neither was there was third-party involvement, he said, as alleged by counsel for the family, Awtar Singh.

Pointing out to the DNA analysis, Muhammad Shafee said it indicated there was no third party involvement in Ahmad Sarbaini’s death.

“The absence of DNA evidence connecting any MACC officer to the death, and the absence of defensive wounds on the deceased, clearly indicate that no MACC officer was criminally concerned with regard to the death.

“We, therefore, conclude that the verdict should be accidental death,” he added.

In a 112-page written submission to coroner Aizatul Akmal Maharani, who heard the inquest, Muhammad Shafee said there was also not a shred of proof that Ahmad Sarbaini was physically abused or mistreated during the recording of his subsequent statement by MACC officers on April 4, or on the day of his death on April 6, this year.

He said there was ample evidence to show that Ahmad Sarbaini had, on his own volition, got out of the pantry window on the third floor of the MACC building.

These included the forensic pathology evidence that indicated the condition of the pantry did not suggest there was a struggle, as well as the evidence which indicated that all injuries sustained by the deceased was consistent with a fall from height, said Muhammad Shafee.

He said Ahmad Sarbaini died due to severe head injuries and positional asphyxia as concluded by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital’s forensic pathologist Associate Professor Dr Faridah Mohd Noor and Dr Shahrom Abdul Wahid, via their reports and evidence during the inquest proceedings.

Muhammad Shafee said, Ahmad Sarbaini had died from a fall from the lower ledge of the third floor window of the pantry, adding that the customs official’s body was found on the first floor of the MACC building, Wilayah Persekutuan, Jalan Cochrane.

“The evidence had placed the deceased outside that window and there is evidence tending to show that he had tried to jump to the roof situated on the right, but he was off-balance. He slipped and fell to his death,” he said.

He said, the absence of marks indicating a struggle in the pantry and defensive wounds on the deceased showed he was not forced out of the third floor of the pantry window.

Muhammad Shafee also noted the MACC had no reason to be angry or frustrated with the fact that the deceased had intended to change his statement on April 6, this year.

“This is due to the fact the deceased would not have been able to change his statement as stated by MACC investigating officer Abdul Ghani Ali during the meeting that was chaired by MACC Assistant Commissioner Mohamad Fauzi Husin on that day (April 6).

“Awtar (Ahmad Sarbaini’s family lawyer) and even Raja Petra Kamarudin (a blogger) via his blog, shared the same sentiment that the MACC was fuming mad when the deceased had intended to change or retract his statement,” he said.

Muhammad Shafee said Abdul Ghani, in his statement, had said a letter of representation needed to be written to the MACC or himself, if someone wanted to change or retract his statement.

Meanwhile, Awtar in his 19-page written submission said, there was an element of foul play by the MACC, which caused Ahmad Sarbaini’s death.

“Maybe, the MACC had no intention to cause the injuiry to the deceased or to kill him, but there is an element of negligence in this case which caused the death of Ahmad Sarbaini,” he said.

He said the investigation into Ahmad Sarbaini’s death was not fully equipped because there were many unanswered questions, including why the deceased fell out of the window.

He said the evidence presented clearly showed the deceased did not try to kill himself, or was murdered by someone or died by accident.

“There is no reason for the deceased to climb out of the window…as a visitor, he could leave the MACC building anytime,” added Awtar.

The coroner will make a decision on Sept 26.

Today, both parties met Aizatul for further clarification on their submissions on Aug 25.

The submissions were made available to the media today.