Hendrik Smit, grandfather to Dutch model Ivana Smit whose body was found on the balcony of a condominium in December 2017, believes that there are grounds for the family to pursue the matter in the High Court. Following the court’s ruling of the 18-year-old’s death as due to misadventure, Smit is dissatisfied and wants investigations reopened.
According to a report by the New Straits Times, Smit had said, “I am not at all unhappy with what the judge said. In fact for me it’s a small victory that makes way for the family to fight for justice in the High Court now.” He also based this one the fact that Investigating Officer Abdullah could have obtained more evidence, questioned further by checking the apartment for alcoholic drinks and ordered the forensics department to test more samples for DNA and the bottles found in the unit for their content.
Ruling that her death was due to misadventure, Sessions Court judge Mahyon Talib, who sat as coroner in the inquest into Smit’s death, questioned why Assistant Superintendent Faizal Abdullah didn’t interrogate American businessman Alex Johnson, 44, and his Kazakh wife Luna Almaz, 31, more. He said the fact that the coroner pointed out in the verdict that Abdullah could have done a better job by reclassifying the case from sudden death report (SDR) and opening an investigation paper (IP) on her death sooner, was also a reason for police to reopen the case.
Talib has also questioned why pathologist Dr Nurliza Abdullah failed to show up at the crime scene but instead assumed Ivana’s cause of death based on pictures of the scene provided by police.
Talib agreed that Smit’s injuries were consistent with falling from a certain height and concurred with pathologist Dr Frank Van De Goot’s testimoney that Smit had died before her body was found on the balcony. “The mark on her arm, the trauma behind her head, a broken bottle and Johnson’s DNA under Smit’s nails suggested there was an altercation between Johnson, Smit and Luna. But the court could not ascertain what really happened. Therefore, the court rules that the deceased’s death was due to a misadventure,” she said.
The former beauty queen’s naked body was found on the balcony of a sixth floor-unit of a building located off Jalan Dang Wangi after falling from the 20th floor. At that time, she was reported to have fallen while being intoxicated, following a night of partying with Johnson and Almaz at a Bangsar entertainment outlet. The couple, while having admitted to having sex with Smit three weeks earlier and on the day she was found dead, insisted that they had no knowledge of her death. They are believed to have fled the country since.
Watch UNRESERVED’S exclusive interview with Hendrik Smit.
Source: The Star, New Straits Times