American couple's lawyer asked to leave hearing on Dutch model's death
GM Tan, the lawyer representing American couple Luna and Alexander Johnson, was asked to leave a court hearing on the death of Dutch model Ivana Smit in Malaysia on Wednesday. The judge ordered Tan to leave after he could not give a good reason for why his clients did not obey the summons to testify in the hearing, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Johnsons were the last people to see Ivana before her death in Kuala Lumpur in December. The 18-year-old Dutch woman went home with them after a night out. Her naked body was found a few hours later on a sixth floor balcony of their apartment building. She'd fallen from their 20th floor apartment. The Malaysian authorities concluded that her death was an accident, but her family does not believe it. A private detective and a forensic pathologist looked into this case and both concluded that there are signs of a crime.
The so-called Coroner's Court in Malaysia is currently holding hearings to determine whether Ivana's death was a crime. The Johnsons were summoned to testify on Wednesday. Their failure to appear annoyed both the lawyer representing Ivana's family and the public prosecutor.
"Why were they willing to give an interview to the Daily Mail, but won't come to court to explain Ivana's death", family lawyer Sankara Nair said, according to RTL. He thinks that the two are setting themselves up as prime suspects by staying away.
Prosecutor Joy Rasan said that they were summoned to testify. And while the summons was not delivered to them personally, because they had already left the country, the presence of their lawyer proves that the Johnsons knew they had to be there, Rasan said.
In a hearing on Tuesday the caretaker and cleaning lady of the apartment building both testified that the Johnsons had their apartment cleaned after Ivana's death, and before the police did a trace evidence investigation. The caretaker previously also said she heard noises from the Johnsons' apartment after Ivana's death. This is remarkable because the couple previously said that they were only woken by the police hours later.