The investigation into the death of a Dutch teenage model in Malaysia is being reopened following an appeal court ruling that a third party was involved in her death.
The lawyer for Ivana Smit’s family said on Twitter that the Malaysian appeal court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah has upheld their appeal and that the case must now be looked at again.
‘The family is relieved that justice for Ivana will be done,’ he told Dutch media in an initial reaction.
BREEK: Het hoger beroep in de zaak rondom het overlijden van Ivana Smit is door het Maleisische gerechtshof gegrond verklaard. Haar dood is het gevolg van handelen van derden, aldus rechter Collin Lawrence Sequerah. Het onderzoek moet nu worden heropend.
— Sbas Diekstra (@sebasdiekstra) November 22, 2019
Ivana was found dead beneath a 20th-storey balcony at an apartment block in the capital Kuala Lumpur on December 7 2017. The 18-year-old was visiting an American couple in the flats after spending a night on the town.
This March a lower court ruled her death was an accident.
The Malaysian authorities first said her death was an accident, but a Dutch pathologist who examined her body found discrepancies with the official version of events. The Malaysian pathologist later retracted her testimony in court.
The girl’s family are also convinced Ivana’s death was not an accident and offered a reward of $50,000 to anyone who can provide information that helps to trace the person responsible.
The American couple have denied any involvement in her death but questions have also been raised about their testimony. It later emerged that they had cleaned their apartment after Ivana’s death.