GEORGE TOWN: The family of Ivana Smit today welcomed Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s assurance to his Dutch counterpart that the authorities would investigate the late model’s death which happened under mysterious circumstances five years ago.
Ivana’s father, Marcel Smit, 60, said the assurance had given the family hope, along with millions of Dutch people who want justice to be served.
“If the prime minister means what he said and makes sure that the murder investigation ordered by the High Court is transparent and taken seriously, then this would certainly bring the answers we are waiting for,” he told FMT.
Earlier this week, Ismail spoke to his counterpart Mark Rutte over the phone, congratulating him on his re-election as prime minister. In that conversation, Rutte also spoke to Ismail about Ivana’s case.
“I have given him an assurance that there will be transparency and fairness in the investigations,” Ismail said in a tweet.
Marcel hoped that the result of the probe would lead to the eventual conviction of the culprits in Ivana’s alleged murder.
“It was also very good to hear the prime minister is well informed about Ivana’s case and has committed himself to make sure the investigation, currently dormant, proceeds,” he said.
According to Dutch news reports, the family’s lawyer, Sébas Diekstra, hoped the Malaysian prime minister’s involvement will ensure some form of justice for his clients and Ivana in the foreseeable future.
Ivana, then 18, was found dead on the sixth floor of a condominium block in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 7, 2017, after falling from a 20th floor unit owned by an American couple, Alex Johnson and Luna Almazkyzy.
Police had initially classified the case as sudden death. A coroner later ruled that there was no criminal element in the case, deciding that Ivana had died due to a misadventure.
The High Court, however, quashed the coroner’s findings, saying Ivana’s death was caused by “persons known or unknown” and there was a lack of investigation on the possibility of death by homicide.