KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has ruled that the death of Dutch model, Ivana Esther Robert Smit, was caused by “persons known or unknown”, and overturned a coroner’s ruling that the death was due to misadventure.
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah reached the verdict yesterday after allowing an application by Smit’s family to review a coroner’s ruling in March.
In his judgment, Justice Sequerah said there was insufficient investigation done on the possibility of death by homicide.
“The coroner, in her decision, had agreed with the findings of a Dutch pathologist, Dr Frank Van Der Goot, that Smit and her hosts, couple Alex Johnson and Luna Almaz, might have engaged in a struggle prior to the death.
“Despite the court agreeing with the expert witness, she returned a verdict of misadventure. This was inconsistent with her findings in respect to Dr Frank’s evidence, ” the judge said.
He then set aside the coroner’s decision and directed the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to instruct the police to investigate the cause of the death of the 19-year-old model.
Throughout the inquest, it was revealed that Smit’s body had signs of arm grip, trauma at the back of the head, and Johnson’s DNA under her nails.
It was also disclosed that based on testimonies of witnesses, including the investigating officer, the court found that the deceased died due to a fall from a high place.
Smit was found sprawled in the nude on the sixth floor of CapSquare Residence in Kuala Lumpur, on Dec 7,2017. — Bernama