KUALA LUMPUR: Five Malaysian National Defence University students were charged in a magistrate's court here with murdering a navy cadet officer from the university last month.
Muhammad Akmal Zuhairi Azmal, Muhammad Azamuddin Mad Sofi, Muhammad Najib Mohd Razi, Muhammad Afif Najmudin Azahat and Mohamad Shobirin Sabri were jointly charged with murdering Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, 21, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death penalty.
Another student, Abdoul Hakeem Mohd Ali, was charged with abetting the five in murdering Zulfarhan Osman, under Section 109 read together with Section 302 of the same Code.
They are alleged to have committed the offence at room 04-10 of the university's Jebat hostel between 4.45am and 5.45am on May 22.
No bail was offered and no plea was recorded from the six accused, who were charged before magistrate Siti Radziah Kamarudin yesterday.
The court then fixed Aug 14 for mention.
The courtroom was filled with family members of the accused, with some having to stand or sit on the floor of the public gallery. Some were heard reciting verses from the Quran and praying. They came as early as 10am.
Later in the day, 19 students - including the six accused who were charged earlier - were charged with voluntarily causing hurt to force Zulfarhan Osman to make a confession over an alleged laptop theft.
The other 13 were Muhammad Hasif Ismail, Muhammad Akmal Akif Alias, Mohd Hafiz Fauzan Ismail, Mohamad Lukhmanul Hakim Mohd Zain, Ahmad Shafwan Berdal, Muhammad Amirul Asraff Mala, Luqman Hakim Shamsuri Agus, Mohamad Syazwan Musa, Muhammad Adib Iman Fuad Adi Sany, Muhammad Danial Firdaus Azmir, Muhamnad Ashraf Abdullah, Noriznan Izzairi Noor Azhar and Muhammad Sufi Mohd Mustapha.
All of them are 21 years old.
The offence is said to have been committed in two rooms, 03-05 and 04-10, of the same hostel over two periods of time in the early morning of May 21 and 22.
Deputy public prosecutor Nordin Ismail later asked for bail for the 13 to be set at RM25,000 each.
Counsel Mohd Fadly Hashim, who acted for 13 of the accused, said his clients came from humble backgrounds and their parents had other children to support.
Siti Radziah then fixed bail at RM7,000 in one surety each and set July 17 for mention.
Meanwhile, 13 other students, who were allegedly involved in the death of the victim, were released on court bond and would serve as witnesses.
On June 2, it was reported that 36 university students were arrested in connection with Zulfarhan Osman's death.
The final-year electrical engineering student was rushed to Serdang Hospital with burn marks and bruises at around 8pm on June 1, but succumbed to his injuries about two hours later.
Four of the students, who are from Universiti Tenaga Nasional, were released by police on June 8.