Mohd Rehab Haji Ismail says he heard a noise “like a pile of bricks falling” as he was operating his burger stall across the road.
The owner of a burger stall near the building where Dutch model Ivana Smit was found dead last year told the inquest into her death today that he heard a loud slamming noise that afternoon.
Mohd Rehab Haji Ismail, whose stall stands opposite the CapSquare Residence near Bukit Nanas, told the inquest that he heard a loud noise, “like a pile of bricks falling”, between 1pm and 2pm on Dec 7 last year.
When questioned by SN Nair, the lawyer holding a watching brief for Smit’s family, on whether such sounds were normal, Rehab said the children staying in the building would often throw things from their condominium units.
“I can’t be sure about the exact time that I heard the sound, but it was from 1pm to 2pm because my regulars were eating at my stall at the time,” Rehab said when quizzed by Nair during today’s proceedings at the Kuala Lumpur Coroner’s Court.
Rehab said he had not felt like investigating the source of the sound, neither had he seen any reason to report it as it was nothing out of the ordinary.
“It was not strange, just louder than the normal sounds,” he said, adding that he had not looked up when he heard the noise.
Rehab was the ninth witness to testify in the eight-day inquest into Smit’s death.
The teenage model was found sprawled in the nude on the balcony of a sixth-floor apartment at CapSquare Residence. She had been staying at a unit on the 20th floor at the time of her death.
Police initially classified the case as sudden death, but it was reopened this year after Smit’s family claimed there were elements of a cover-up.
They also claimed there was a possibility that Smit was already dead before she fell, following a pathology report they had ordered.
When questioned by deputy public prosecutor N Joy Jothi, Rehab said he did not know why he had been called to testify in today’s inquest, nor was he aware that a body was found that afternoon.
When asked by coroner Mahyon Talib whether the surrounding streets were busy during lunch hour on Dec 7, Rehab said it was not so busy that day.
This was why he had heard the slam loud and clear, he added.
Earlier, Sergeant Mohan Marimuthu, an officer with the Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation unit for the Cheras police branch, said he had removed Smit’s body from the balcony that afternoon.
He said he had not marked the place where the body was originally found.
He said the scene on the sixth and 20th floors should have been cordoned off, but that he had not thought to do so when he arrived at the building.
This was after Nair asked Mohan if he agreed that cordoning off crime scenes should be made the norm in Malaysia.
Mohan said this was not standard procedure here. He added that he had dusted for fingerprints and footprints on the sixth-floor balcony.
He said although it had rained later that day, he managed to find several sets of footprints that were not washed away.
When asked if the footprints could have been replicated, Mohan initially said this was impossible but later acknowledged that this had been his assumption. – FMT