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Neck injuries 'could have led to death'

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KUANTAN: A forensic medical specialist informed the High Court here yesterday that deceased French tourist Stephanie Foray may have suffered from neck injuries.

Dr Sri Marni Zainal Abidin, testifying at the trial of Asni Omar, who is charged with Foray's murder, said that the presence of a white towel around the victim's neck indicated possible injuries not shown via obvious ways.

"There may have been injuries to the neck that does not leave skeletal cracks or marks on the skin and neck tissues," she said during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Salim Soib@Hamid.

"Among the possibilities is an injury caused by an object used to throttle the neck.

"Besides that, the neck may have also suffered bleeding."

Dr Sri Marni, who is attached to Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA) here, said the towel may have also been used to stop blood from flowing from the head.

"Or maybe, the towel was on the neck for no discernable reason."

Later, Dr Sri Marni explained to the court the reason for the contradiction between her testimony of finding cracks on Foray's skull and a radiograph report, which did not find any cracks on the skull.

"The report (prepared by radiology specialist Dr Mubarak Mohd Yusof of HTAA Radiology Department) was merely based on analysis of pictures and X-ray images of the body," she explained.

Dr Sri Marni said that this differed from her method, which was by conducting a direct examination of the skull itself, which allowed the discovery of very fine cracks which can be missed by mere image analysis.

After Salim informed the court that he has no further questions for her, counsel Mohd Hisham Abdul Rahim sought for the defence be allowed to cross-examine Dr Sri Marni at a later date.

"We need more time to prepare because the witness's (Dr Sri Marni) testimony was not only based on her post-mortem report but also made references to other related reports."

Hisham added that her report made numerous references to other reports prepared by other specialists like the radiograph report by Dr Mubarak and a report prepared by Dr Nazni Wasi from the Medical Entomology Unit of the Institute for Medical Research at Kuala Lumpur.

Salim was assisted by deputy public prosecutors Nor Azizah Mohamad and Farahah Mohd Nazari, while the accused was also represented by Datuk Ng See Teong and Ibrahim Kamaruddin.

High Court judge Datuk Mariana Yahya fixed July 30 and 31 as well as Aug 1 and 2 for continuation of trial.


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