The lawyer representing Ivana Smit’s family today sought court intervention with regards to an article published over the weekend claiming the Dutch model had fallen to her death last year out of her own “youthful recklessness”.
SN Nair, who is holding a watching brief at the inquest into Smit’s death at the Coroner’s Court here, said it was “not proper” for cryptocurrency trader Alex Johnson to make the claim as the inquest proceeding was underway.
“It is for the honourable court to determine how she died, not for this man, who was given all opportunity to come to the police, who were so kind they didn’t even retain him previously,” Nair told Coroner Mahyon Talib before the inquest started.
He said Alex and his Kazakh wife, Luna Almaz had the chance to clear their names but had refused to testify.
“But now, he is throwing stones from a safe distance whenever he likes, which is despicable. He can’t do that,” he said, citing Johnson’s comments published by Dutch portal AD.nl.
An FMT report on the article was tendered in court today.
In the article, Alex and Luna who were the last to see Smit before she was found dead on Dec 7 last year, said they were being unfairly blamed for her death by the Smit family.
“With so much evidence that it was an accident due to youthful recklessness, it’s time to face the facts – she was not murdered. Her body was not thrown over the balcony and no one is guilty of her death,” Alex said.
The Johnsons hosted Smit, then 18, at their 20th-floor unit on Dec 7 last year at Capsquare Residence in Kuala Lumpur.
They were frequent sex partners as well and according to Luna, she had sex with Smit hours before her death.
Smit was found sprawled in the nude later that day on a balcony on the sixth floor, where she was pronounced dead.
Both Alex and Luna, however, have maintained their innocence and say they were asleep when Smit had fallen down.
The police first classified the case as sudden death, but it was reopened this year after pressure from Smit’s family, who claim there were elements of foul play and police cover-up.
Despite being the main suspects in the original police investigation and the last persons to see Smit, the Johnsons never testified despite being subpoenaed.
Alex claimed he did not receive a subpoena but only a message via telephone days before the inquest began, and accused the Smits of carrying out “unjust legal prosecution”.
But Nair said the police had been instructed by the court to issue a subpoena but “they could not be summoned” as they had fled the country.
Deputy public prosecutor N Joy Jothi confirmed this to FMT as well.
“But he claims the police were unfair to him as he was thrown into jail. If so, why didn’t he make a police report?” asked Nair.
“He said he was targeted for running a cryptocurrency trade, but that just adds to his dubious character and business,” he said.
“They say Ivana was reckless. But as a married couple, don’t tell me you are not shameful of taking advantage of an 18-year-old. What happened to the ethics of marriage?
“You say this girl is pitiful, so why did you take advantage of her?” Nair asked.
Nair said the couple must explain why they were supposedly handing Smit drugs as testified in court by a friend of the trio, Mohd Shareza Sadek Mohamed @ Adam White, who had asked him where to get cocaine as Smit had asked for it.
Traces of cocaine, cannabis and alcohol were found in Smit’s system.
He said they had nothing to fear from the police, who he sarcastically said were “always kind”, having purportedly given Luna access to a phone during their arrest, “where she called up a witness who wiped out the evidence” from their 20th-floor unit on Dec 7.
Nur Maisara Makha Abdullah, a maid hired by the couple, testified receiving a phone call from Luna to find out whether her daughter had reached home safely on the night of Dec 7 when they were at the police station.
She asked her to tidy up the house, which she did.
Maisara was later reprimanded by police for throwing away empty bottles and wiping up a stain on the kitchen floor.
The unit was not cordoned off by the police and she was not aware of the ongoing murder investigation.
Nair said the court must seriously take into consideration “the despicable conduct of their allegations and non-appearance in court, which casts doubts on the entire inquest process.”
He urged Alex and Luna to return to Malaysia “where they are safe with a new attorney-general” and have “no fear of harassment” from the police. He said they were the only persons who could testify to what had happened on the morning of Smit’s death. – FMT