High Court sets 2024 dates for suit brought by family of Dutch model Ivana Smit

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed 18 days next year to hear a lawsuit filed by the family of Dutch model Ivana Smit, who died in a fall at a condominium five years ago.

Lawyer Sankara Nair, who represented Smit's family, told the press that the dates were fixed during a case management before Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain here on Thursday (May 25).

The dates were Oct 14 - 16, Oct 21 - 23, Oct 28 - 30, Nov 4 - 6, Nov 11 - 13, Nov 18 - 20, 2024.

"The court directed parties to file all the pre-trial documents by July 13," Sankara said.

Further case management was fixed on the same date (July 13).

Lawyer Jaden Phoon Wai Ken appeared for the plaintiff while Senior Federal Counsels Norfauzani Mohd Nordin and Mohd Radzi Ab. Razak appeared for the defendants during the case management.

On Nov 20, 2020, Smit's mother Christina Carolina Gerarda Johanna Verstappen, as the plaintiff had filed the suit against the Inspector-General of Police, Dang Wangi investigating officer ASP Faizal Abdullah, the Home Minister and the Malaysian government.

All were the defendants in a case of alleged breach of statutory duties and negligence in the investigation to determine the cause of Smit's death.

On April 21, 2021, the High Court struck out Verstappen’s suit on grounds that the statement of claim did not comply with Order 18, Rule 7 of Rules of Court 2012 but upon an appeal, the Court of Appeal reinstated the suit.

In the suit, she claimed that her 18-year-old daughter was found dead on the sixth floor of CapSquare Residence on Dec 7, 2017, after falling from the 20th floor of a condominium unit owned by American couple Alex Johnson and Luna Almazkyzy.

She contended that the police had committed negligence when they failed to cordon off the crime scene or conduct a proper investigation into Johnson and Almazkyzy and failed to detain, extradite and secure the duo’s attendance during the inquest as key witnesses.

On March 18, 2019, the Coroner's Court ruled that Ivana’s death was caused by a "misadventure’.

Not satisfied with the coroner's verdict, Verstappen appealed to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Then on Nov 22, 2019, High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah (now a Court of Appeal judge) set aside the coroner's verdict and replaced it with a verdict of "Death by person or persons unknown" and ordered the Attorney-General to direct the police to begin further investigations.

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