Ivana’s family hopes for justice ahead of court ruling

Dutch model Ivana Smit was found dead on the balcony of a condominium in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 7, 2017. (Instagram pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur Coroner’s Court will rule on Friday how Dutch model Ivana Smit died two years ago, an infamous case which grabbed the headlines over salacious threesomes and drug use.

This was confirmed by a spokesman for the Kuala Lumpur Coroner’s Court and SN Nair, the Smit family’s lawyer who held a watching brief during the five-month inquest into the model’s death.

Coroner Mahyon Talib will deliver her verdict at the Jalan Duta court complex this Friday. It could be misadventure (accidental death), homicide (murder), an open verdict (no finding) or suicide.

Smit is believed to have fallen from a unit on the 20th floor of the CapSquare Residence condo, off Jalan Dang Wangi in the city centre, on Dec 7, 2017. She was found sprawled in the nude on a sixth-floor balcony. She was 18.

The police originally classified the case as sudden death. An inquest was called last year to determine the facts of the case and how Smit died after her family cried foul and asked if police were covering it up.

Speaking to FMT, Nair said he was expecting the coroner’s decision to be a homicide, or “unlawful killing” as he termed it, reflecting his stand in his written submissions to the court last year.

He noted that Alex Johnson and Luna Almaz – the American-Kazakh couple who last saw Smit alive – had not attended the inquest to testify. Smit was staying at their apartment on the day she was found dead.

The duo also had occasional intercourse with Smit leading up to her death. Luna claimed to have had sex with Smit on the morning that she was found dead, 14 floors down.

Dutch national Fred Agenjo Weinhold, Ivana Smit’s uncle.

Alex and Luna have since left the country. They have always insisted on their innocence, saying Smit’s death was an accident due to her own “youthful recklessness”.

Ivana’s uncle Fred Agenjo Weinhold told FMT he was doubtful the coroner would rule Smit’s death as “just an accident” after listening to the inquest proceedings so far.

A post-mortem by a Dutch pathologist found bruises on Smit’s upper arms, suggesting that a struggle 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 that Alex’s DNA samples were 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 and polymethylmethacrylate, among others, the combined effect of which could have knocked Smit out cold due to hyperthermia, the inquest had heard.