Malaysia pledges progress in investigation into murder of Dutch model, family says
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been promised by his Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob that Malaysia "will make every effort to speed up the investigation of the truth in the case of model Ivana Smit who died in 2017," reports lawyer Sébas Diekstra on Twitter. Diekstra represents the next of kin.
At the request of these relatives, Rutte raised the matter with his colleague. According to Diekstra, Yaakob appeared to have "sharp details in the case." Yaakob also said "hope there will be justice for Ivana," according to Diekstra. The lawyer added that the relatives are "very happy" with Rutte's effort and the gesture of the Malaysian prime minister. Rutte's spokesperson confirms that the Ivana Smit case has been discussed between the two prime ministers, but did not elaborate on the content of that conversation.
Smit died after the fall of a flat in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur after spending the evening with an American couple. The case is considered a crime by the Malaysian police, but the investigation has been stalled for some time and no progress has been made in the investigation.
Karin Verstappen, Smit's mother, called on Rutte for help last December to gain more clarity about the death of her 18-year-old daughter. She hoped Rutte would address the Malaysian authorities "for their serious failure."
"As prime minister, you are actually the only one who can really mean something from the Dutch government, especially now that others are failing. Not only can you do that, but I actually think you are obliged to intervene. To do justice for Ivana to enforce."
Ivana's family does not believe that she fell from the 20th floor in an accident and is highly critical of the police investigation. "Ivana died in Malaysia and the police there not only did their job very poorly, but also did everything they could to bury the case as soon as possible. Without us getting the answers we so need and the people involved her death have been brought to justice and especially without justice," Verstappen wrote to Rutte.
Reporting by ANP