KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer holding a watching brief for the couple who hosted Dutch model Ivana Smit prior to her death was asked to leave the coroner's court today, as the couple will not testify in the proceedings.
G. M. Tab, the special counsel for Alex and Luna Johnson, was asked to leave by coroner Mahyon Talib after S. N. Nair, the special counsel holding a watching brief for Smit's family, objected to his presence in court.
She also declined the letter from the couple explaining their absence since the lawyer could not confirm if they would be present for the proceedings.
It was later learnt that the couple has refused to appear despite being subpoenaed.
"What is their lawyer doing in court if they are not going to be part of the proceedings? They have engaged a lawyer but are absent in court which makes it suspicious," Nair said.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon session, the court heard evidence that the couple's maid and babysitter Nur Maisarah Makha Abdullah, 60, was asked to fetch their five-year-old child from kindergarten at 8pm on the day Smit died.
When Nair asked Maisarah if she was told why she had to fetch the child so late, she said she had asked Luna, the wife, but no explanation was given.
The lifeless body of the 19-year-old model was discovered to be in the nude on the balcony of the sixth floor of a condominium unit on Jalan Dang Wangi on Dec 7 of last year.
She was said to have been staying with the couple at their unit on the 20th floor of the building, where it was believed she fell from.
The couple, who went out for drinks with Smit the night before her death and visited a nightclub in the Bangsar area, have maintained their innocence.
Police originally classified the case as a sudden death, but it was reopened by the Dang Wangi police following claims of foul play by Smit's family.