Kevin Morais Could Have Died From Suffocation, Says Forensic Expert

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 – Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais’ death was highly due to suffocation or probable asphyxiation, the High Court was told today. Forensic medical consultant at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), Dr Nurliza Abdullah, 51, said based on the post mortem, the cause of Kevin Morais’ death was probable asphyxiation.

She said she came to that conclusion based on the condition of Kevin Morais’ body which was decomposing. Dr Nurliza was testifying during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin on the fourth day hearing of Kevin Morais’ murder trial before judge Datuk Azman Abdullah.

“There was high possibility that Kevin Morais died before he was placed in a gunny sack and put in a drum. This is based on the absence of any marks to show his movement or signs of struggle on the hands and legs. The position of the deceased was not in a normal condition, which is fetal-like position,” she added.

Dr Nurliza, who has 20 years experience in forensic, said there were seven injury marks on the deceased, but none were defensive wounds. Referring to the post mortem report which stated that Kevin Morais’ face looked darker, she said it was sign of congestion.

She added that the sign of congestion indicates that a person has asphyxia due to the pulling of blood, resulting in no oxygen and the face to turn dark or blue black. Wan Shaharuddin: Is this condition consistent with the condition of a victim whose head is covered with a plastic bag?

Dr Nurliza: In my opinion, when the face and head is covered with a plastic bag, the person will have problem breathing, especially if the plastic bag is tighten at the neck. Wan Shaharuddin: Was the victim strangled with a belt? Dr Nurliza: If there is a strong impact or trauma at the neck, like in manual strangulation, which is using the hands, normally, there will fracture marks on the neck bone, but in this case there is none.

She also told the court that she confirmed Kevin Morais’ body in the post mortem report dated Oct 22, 2015, after his identity was verified consistent with the DNA profile of his siblings. She said the post mortem on Kevin Morais was conducted with Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi after they received the body from the police at 3.05 pm on Sept 16, 2015.

Questioned why the post mortem on Kevin Morais was carried out by two forensic specialists, Dr Nurliza said they were made to understand that the case involved a senior government officer and it had attracted public interest. On the condition of Kevin Morais’ body when it was brought out from the gunny sack, she said the victim was in fully dressed, but with no shoes and the body was decomposing.

She said the body was in fetal like position where the knees and waist were bend. She also said that the upper limbs were tied loose with a necktie behind the back. On Jan 27, six men – G. Gunasekaran, 48, R. Dinishwaran, 24, A. K Thinesh Kumar, 23, M. Vishwanath, 26, S. Nimalan, 23, and S. Ravi Chandaran, 45, pleaded not guilty to murdering Kevin Morais between 7 am and 8 pm on Sept 4, 2015, somewhere between Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1 Jalan USJ1/6D, Subang Jaya.

In the meantime, Kunaseegaran, 53, who is the first accused in the trial, pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiring with the six men in the killing of Kevin Morais at the same place, date and time. Therefore, the hearing will also be continues on tomorrow.

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