The fourth accused in the trial involving the murder of National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain claimed he did not know the steam iron used during the ‘interrogation’ was hot. - FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: The fourth accused in the trial involving the murder of National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain claimed he did not know the steam iron used during the ‘interrogation’ was hot.

Testifying from the witness stand today, Afif Najmudin admitted he had pressed the steam iron on Zulfarhan’s leg twice but he was not aware that it was hot at that time.

Afif together with five other cadets allegedly tortured Zulfarhan by using the steam iron to get him to confess that he stole a laptop.

Zulfarhan was found with burn marks and bruises in an apartment in Serdang at about 8pm on June 1, 2017, and was pronounced dead at about 10pm at the Serdang Hospital.

Afif, when answering questions by Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah, said he saw steam evaporate but admitted he did not dare to test it on himself before pressing it on Zulfarhan.

Azman: When you saw the steam, you did not test it yourself?

Muhammad Afif: No.

Azman: Why? Because you knew the steam iron was hot? Because it produced steam?

Afif: All I know the iron was hot.

Afif said he knew about the injuries sustained by Zulfarhan after his friend informed him a day after the incident on May 26, 2017.

“Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal (first accused), Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali (sixth accused), Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha (a friend) and I took Zulfarhan to As-Salam clinic in Bangi for treatment on May 27.

“After that, I asked Muhammad Hasif to send me to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) as I wanted to return to my hometown in Negri Sembilan.

“I had no intention to hurt him (Zulfarhan),” he said, during examination-in-chief by his lawyer Datuk Seri M. Ramachelwam.

Deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim during cross-examination asked the accused whether the steam iron head had touched Zulfarhan’s skin, to which the latter said “Yes”.

“He did not run and just sat on the floor,” he said.

Afif, Akmal, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, and Mohamad Shobirin are jointly charged with murdering Zulfarhan; while Abodul Hakeem is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

All six face the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

The six and 12 other students, all aged 23, also pleaded not guilty to voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Zulfarhan with the intention of extracting a confession from Zulfarhan for allegedly stealing a laptop.

The offence was allegedly committed at room 04-10 Jebat Hostel Block, UPNM, between 2.30am and 5.30am on May 21 and in the same room between 1.30am and 4.30am on May 22.

The trial continues tomorrow.