Ivana’s threesome partners made her death look like suicide, says lawyer

Alex Johnson and Luna Almaz, the couple who confessed to having threesomes with Ivana Smit hosted the young model the day her body was found on a balcony.

PETALING JAYA: The lawyer representing the family of Ivana Smit, who died last year, has accused an American-Kazakh couple who last saw the Dutch model alive of making her death look like a suicide.

SN Nair, who held a watching brief for Smit’s family during a five-month inquest into her death earlier this year, said this might be because Alex Johnson and Luna Almaz were in a “state of panic”.

“Perhaps being unable to explain the presence of narcotics in her body or to avoid being unable to answer many questions, as well as not wanting the issue of threesome sex and the use of sex toys to come up, the couple decided to make the death look like a suicide by physically carrying her to the balcony and throwing her body over.”

He said the most decent thing they could have done was at least rush her to hospital or call for an ambulance to save her life, no matter the consequences.

“They had the moral duty to do so, which it appears was not done.”

Such was the height of their depravity and inhumanity, Nair told the Kuala Lumpur Coroner’s Court on Friday in his written submission, which was sighted by FMT.

Ivana Smit. (Instagram pic)

Smit was found dead and sprawled in the nude on the balcony of a sixth-floor condo unit at CapSquare Residences off Jalan Dang Wangi in the city centre on the afternoon of Dec 7, 2017. She was 18.

Police investigations classified the case as sudden death without first going to the crime scene, to the anger of Smit’s family, who later called for an inquest to be held, citing foul play and a cover-up.

Johnson, a cryptocurrency trader, and Almaz have claimed to have had occasional intercourse with Smit in their 20th-floor condo unit. Almaz also said she had sex with Smit on the morning of her death. This was referred to in court as well.

During the inquest held this year, the Coroner’s Court heard varying testimonies about how Smit died and whether she fell to her death.

A post-mortem by a Dutch pathologist found bruises on Smit’s upper arms, suggesting a struggle likely took place before she fell. However, two Malaysian pathologists disagreed, saying she fell from a height.

The inquest also heard how sex toys were used and Alex’s DNA sample’s being found underneath Smit’s fingernails, which Nair said “suggested the likelihood of some struggle” or “fighting” before she died.

There were also traces of cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), among others, the combined effect of which could have knocked her out cold, the inquest heard.

Nair said the fact that Johnson and Almaz had refused to be subjected to the scrutiny of the court led to the inescapable conclusion that they were responsible for causing the death of Smit.

Johnson and Almaz have left the country and have also not shown up at the inquest to testify. However, they have given interviews to the media since leaving, confirming threesomes occurred.

Nair pointed to court testimony where a witness, Nur Maisara Makha Abdullah, who was the couple’s maid, said Almaz asked her to clean up their unit on the night of Dec 7, which he branded as “wiping away evidence”.

Nair also detailed how the second and final investigating officer (IO) for this case, Faizal Abdullah, “has shown himself to be an incompetent IO” whose investigations “are nothing but shambolic”.

He said the “proper” standard operating procedures for the police is to first classify a case “like this” as a possible homicide under Section 302 or 304 of the Penal Code and to open an investigation paper (IP), instead of a sudden death report (SDR).

They should then immediately proceed to the scene of the crime and investigate the matter as a homicide until reasons show otherwise.

An SDR, as was done in Smit’s death, is usually opened by the police when the deceased is believed to have died due to natural causes. IPs are more general and take into consideration other causes of death such as murder or foul play.

Nair and Faizal have always argued in court over whether an SDR or an IP was better when the case was first opened, and when he eventually took over as IO. Nair believes an IP would have been better.

Nair further claimed Faizal had “deliberately” not followed other police SOP and if he did, he could have “at least secured sufficient evidence” for reference to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

“Instead, for reasons best known to him, he has acted in a lackadaisical fashion and manner in his investigation. As a result, he has allowed important suspects to escape from the law.”

A decision will be reached by Coroner Mahyon Talib on Jan 22 on how Smit died. This can be an accidental death, misadventure, suicide, an open verdict, natural causes or unlawful killing.

But Nair urged the court to deliver a verdict of unlawful killing “based on all the evidence presented and the circumstances taken as a whole”.

This will then allow the police, with direction from the AGC, to seek a warrant of arrest from Interpol to arrest and extradite Johnson, 44, and Almaz, 31, he said.

They can then face “further investigation and … possible prosecution for culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Penal Code or any other lesser criminal charges.”

He said that this will ensure that justice is served for Smit and her family.

He also said he believed Smit died sometime between 6.50am and 2pm on Dec 7, which corroborates Dutch pathologist Dr Frank van de Goot’s conclusion that Smit’s death could have taken place before she was found dead.