Building Manager Vanessa Nayar says this is not fair as the maid was not informed about what had happened to Ivana Smit earlier that day, and was just doing her job.
A witness who testified today at the inquest into Dutch model Ivana Smit’s death last year claimed police reprimanded an Indian maid, shortly after Smit’s body had been found, for cleaning the condo where Smit had been living at that time.
Vanessa Nayar, building manager of the CapSquare Residence where Smit and her American-Kazakh host couple, Alex and Luna Johnson, were staying when Smit died on Dec 7, said this was not right as the trio’s 20th-floor condo had not been cordoned off by the police.
“After giving my statement at the police station later that day, I was told the cops wanted to go to the 20th-floor condo again. We went there with the police and the investigating officer for this case at around 9.30pm or 10pm on Dec 7.
“There were many police officers in front of me, so I was outside the condo. They were questioning Maha, the maid, who was in the condo at the time, in the living room. I overheard them asking her whether she had cleaned the apartment.
“When Maha said she had cleaned up the condo, the police started scolding her. They said in Malay, I think, ‘Who asked you to clean up?’ Maha replied in English if I’m not mistaken, but I didn’t hear what she said. I was too far away.
“I’m not sure why the police had scolded her. Maha didn’t know what was going on. She has her own access card to enter the building and the condo unit too,” Nayar said when examined by SN Nair, counsel for Smit’s family today.
Nayar is the fifth witness to testify in the inquest into Smit’s death. Today is the third day of the inquest at the Kuala Lumpur Coroner’s Court.
Coroner Mahyon Talib is presiding, with watching briefs conducted by Nair, and a lawyer representing Alex and Luna Johnson.
Earlier, Nayar told the court Maha was not present in the afternoon of Dec 7 last year when the police, accompanied by her, showed up to question Alex and Luna Johnson, the tenants of the 20th-floor condo, both of whom were suspects in the original police case.
Nayar added that since the condo was not cordoned off by police tapes indicating that it was a crime scene, Maha didn’t have reason to suspect anything was wrong, and had simply carried out her regular duties, including taking care of Alex and Luna’s child.
Later that night, Nayar claimed she saw the police taking Alex and Luna away for questioning when she was in the CapSquare Lobby speaking to other residents who had noticed the police cars stationed out front.
“They didn’t leave in handcuffs, and Maha wasn’t there.”
Asked by Nair why the police had not taped off the 20th-floor condo or the 6th-floor condo where Smit’s body was found sprawled on the balcony, Nayar said she was not sure, but said there were no police tapes until the next morning when she met with the Forensic Department on the 20th floor.
Smit is believed to have fallen off Alex and Luna’s 20th-floor condo balcony around 10am last Dec 7.
She crashed through a balcony roof on the sixth floor and was found by the unit’s occupant around 2pm when he returned from work.
Smit, Luna and Alex went out for drinks in Bangsar the night before Smit’s death and visited a nightclub in the area.
Both have maintained their innocence and are expected to testify this week at the inquest.
Police had originally classified the case as sudden death, but it was reopened by Dang Wangi police following claims of foul play by Smit’s family.
They claimed there was a chance Smit was dead long before her fall.
Smit moved to Malaysia when she was three and lived for 13 years in Penang with her paternal grandparents.
The inquest continues this afternoon. – FMT