Report: Family of Dutch model Ivana Smit to sue Malaysian police for negligence in probe into her death

Kenneth Tee
·2-min read
A general view of the Bukit Aman police headquarters. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A general view of the Bukit Aman police headquarters. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — The family of Dutch model Ivana Esther Robert Smit has said they plan to sue the Malaysian police over negligence in investigating her death in 2017.

Free Malaysia Today quoted lawyer Sankara Nair, who is representing Smit’s family, as confirming that a legal notice was being prepared based on instructions from the family in the Netherlands.

“I can confirm that I have been instructed by Christina Verstappen, who is Ivana’s mother, to institute civil proceedings against the Malaysian police for, inter alia, breach of statutory duties and negligence,” he said.

The nude body of Smit, who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of her death, was found on the sixth floor of CapSquare Residence in Kuala Lumpur, after she fell from a unit on the 20th floor of the same condo on December 7, 2017.

The police had then classified the case as sudden death, and a coroner ruled her death as due to misadventure.

In March 2019, Coroner Mahyon Talib in her judgment had said the court found no one criminally liable for the model’s death.

Subsequently, the High Court in November ruled that Smit’s death was caused by “persons known or unknown” and subsequently overturned a coroner’s misadventure ruling.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah reached the verdict after allowing an application by Smit’s family to review Mahyon’s ruling.

Setting aside the coroner’s decision, Sequerah also directed the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to instruct the police to investigate the cause of the death of the 19-year-old model.

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