KUALA LUMPUR: A witness testifying at the inquest into Ivana Smit’s death said a few days after the incident, she realised that money was missing from the condominium where the Dutch model had stayed with American-Kazakh couple Alex Johnson and Luna Almaz.
Nur Maisara Makha Abdullah, the maid hired by the Johnsons, claimed money disappeared a few days after Smit’s body was found, despite it being hidden.
“Three days after Alex and Luna were at the police station (after Smit’s body had been found), I realised I was running out of money.
“I had already used up my salary and I needed cash to pay for our meals and expenses. I was taking care of their child too.
“I called their lawyer and Alex called me back later. I told him I had no more money. I can’t remember how Luna ended up on the line but she told me to take some money from her purse that was on a table in the living room.
“There was about RM2,200 when I first opened the purse. There were RM100, RM20 and RM10 notes.
“I didn’t put my hand inside to find out how much was actually there, but I took RM1,000 and put it in my purse. I took (Luna’s) purse and kept it in a cupboard in a room.
“The next day, I wanted some small change to pay for a cab as I only had big notes with me.
“So, I went to the cupboard but I noticed the money was all gone. I took the remainder of the RM1,000 I used from the day before, wrapped it in plastic and put it in my bag,” she said today.
Maisara, or Maha as she is known, 62, is the seventh witness to testify in the inquest into Smit’s death.
Smit was found sprawled in the nude on the sixth floor condo of CapSquare Residence in Kuala Lumpur, 14 floors below Alex and Luna’s 20th floor condo, on Dec 7 last year.
Police initially ruled it as sudden death, but the case was re-opened this year after Smit’s family claimed there were elements of a police cover-up.
They have also claimed that there is a possibility Smit was already dead before she fell, following a pathology report they had ordered.
Today is the fourth day of the eight-day inquest.
Earlier, Maha testified that she made arrangements to house Alex and Luna’s 5-year-old daughter in her own home in Sentul after Smit’s body was found as it was “no longer safe” with police raiding their condo day after day.
She also claimed that around 8pm on Dec 7, she received a call from Luna asking her to clean the condo, including a broken alchohol bottle in the living room.
Maha said this was odd as she rarely found broken glass in the condo. She said the condo was stocked with the same type of alcohol.
At around 10pm on Dec 7, Maha said she was woken up from her sleep by knocks on the door. She found nine to 10 policemen outside the condo. When she asked them why they wanted to come in, she was told to “be quiet” and was pushed aside.
She later contacted the building management to complain, but was told that a body had been found in the building. “They told me someone had committed suicide in the building. The police were there for 30 to 45 minutes before leaving. I was in my room the whole time.”
She was also reprimanded by the police for cleaning up the broken alcohol bottle. Maha said she had thrown the pieces of glass away as that was routine as a maid. She had also emptied the rubbish.
After this, Maha said she received a phone call from Luna enquiring about her daughter. When Maha asked Luna why police had come to their condo, Luna said she would explain everything later.
Maha also said after Dec 7, the US embassy had contacted her regularly to get updates on Alex and Luna’s daughter while the couple were in a police lock-up for questioning.
Later, Maha sent Luna’s daughter to the embassy along with her passport when asked to do so by Luna’s mother.
After that, Maha continued working there for about a month.
“But one day they packed their bags and told me they were leaving. They didn’t say where they were going and I didn’t want to ask either. They gave me my last salary and said they may be going to the US.”
The couple had been subpoenaed to testify earlier today, but did not show up in court. They are no longer in the country and had given an account of the Dec 7 events to the UK’s Daily Mail, maintaining that they were innocent. It is unclear whether they will be testifying at all at this inquest.
Earlier today, Lance Corporal Ahmad Fabian Abdullah testified that he had removed items from the condo, including some of Smit’s clothing, two handphones, and “Puss in Boots” kneehigh boots. This was done without gloves, he said.