Mark Williams-Thomas, the British private investigator hired by the family of Dutch teen model Ivana Smit to look into the circumstances of her death says the fall was no accident and a murder investigation should be launched.
Smit died on Dec 7 after a night out with an American couple. She fell from a 20th-floor apartment of The Capsquare Residences on Jalan Dang Wangi in Kuala Lumpur. Her naked body was found on a balcony on the 6th floor of the building. Police assumed she had fallen down.
It was reported that she had earlier been out drinking with the couple in Bangsar before returning with them to their apartment.
Police have classified the case as sudden death pending the results of the post-mortem and pathology tests. These results have yet to be revealed.
A pathologist who conducted a second post-mortem on Smit concluded that some of the injuries she sustained were not consistent with a fall from a great height.
In his initial findings, Dutch pathologist Dr Frank van der Goot said the bruises on Smit’s upper arms indicated that a struggle had likely taken place before she plunged to her death.
This led Smit’s parents to hire Williams-Thomas to investigate their daughter’s death.
Winner of a Peabody Award for documentary work exposing TV and radio personality Jimmy Savile as a paedophile in 2012, Williams-Thomas had formerly worked on other high-profile investigations with the British police force.
He spoke to Belgian broadcaster TVL on Feb 4 after a week-long fact-finding mission in Kuala Lumpur
“I have no doubt. From the evidence that I have collected this week, and other information that we have through the forensics, we are in a position to say very clearly: If this was being dealt with in the UK it would be treated as a homicide investigation,” he was quoted as saying.
He noted that Malaysia has a “massive” problem with corruption.
“We very clearly found out that clubs and individuals pay the police for protection,” Williams-Thomas was quoted saying.
He called it shocking that in the 21st-century police still cooperate in cover-ups.
According to the private investigator, many people he spoke to regarding Smit’s death were afraid to talk about it. But they were willing to tell him about it once he promised them anonymity.
“There are very few people who we talked to over here who would not say that there is something suspicious to it,” he was quoted as telling TVL. “It was certainly not a tragic accident.”
In a Twitter posting on Saturday, Williams-Thomas promised to reveal more in his final findings.