Pathologist in Ivana Smit case retracts testimony in court

Ivana Smit. Photo: Facebook
Ivana Smit. Photo: Facebook

A Malaysian pathologist who examined the body of Ivana Smit has retracted part of her evidence to an inquest into the model’s death.

Dr Zunaizah Hilmi conducted the post mortem examination of the 18-year-old, who was found dead below a 20th-floor balcony in Kuala Lumpur on December 7 last year.

Her conclusion that Smit was alive when she fell and may not have died until several minutes afterwards was directly contradicted by Dutch pathologist Frank de Goot, who found evidence that she had suffered injuries beforehand.

Dr Hilmi told the inquest she was retracting all ‘opinion-based’ statements given during three days of testimony, after being questioned by a lawyer acting for the family.

She repeatedly declined to answer questions about rigor mortis in the context of the report she compiled with another pathologist based on the post mortem. ‘I ask that questions like this that require me to provide my opinions be referred to my colleague,’ she said.

She later told the inquiry: ‘I would like to withdraw all opinion-based testimony that I gave in this court.’

Homicide investigation

Smit’s family believe she was the victim of foul play and have put up a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for her death.

The model died while visiting the home of an American couple following a night in the Malaysian capital. British private investigator Mark Williams-Thomas has also examined the case and concluded it should be treated as a homicide.

The Dutch prosecution service is reviewing the case but has not decided whether to launch criminal proceedings.

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