The death of a teenager from London in the Malaysian jungle could have involved a "third party", a court said on Wednesday as it overruled an inquest verdict of misadventure.
Nora Quoirin, 15, vanished from her room during a family holiday at the Dusun rainforest resort in August 2019 and was found dead nine days later.
Her family have repeatedly insisted there was no way that she would have left the resort of her own volition, but a coroner in Malaysia concluded in January that no one else was involved in her death and ruled it was the result of misadventure.
On Wednesday, a Malaysian high court sided with the parents of the French-Irish teenager, who lived in Balham, south London, saying the coroner had erred in his ruling.
Nora suffered from severe learning difficulties and her parents have maintained she would have been "petrified" at the prospect of going out alone.
Azizul Azmi Adnan, the high court judge, said it was unlikely that she would have ventured out alone as that would have required her to navigate steep terrain and evade detection for days.
He said: "I am willing to accept that, on the evidence before the court, the possibility of third party involvement was lower than the possibility that Nora Anne had somehow inadvertently got herself into a situation from which she could not extricate herself.
"That does not mean, however, that I should enter a verdict of misadventure … given the evidence that was before the court, I fail to see how it could have been said that it was more probable than not that Nora Anne had died as a result of misadventure."
Nora’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien, watched proceedings via video-link from the UK. Following the ruling, her mother told the BBC: "It’s a very big day for us, we’re very emotional.
"Nora was always going to be worth fighting for, and this is the verdict we wanted. It was really the only reasonable verdict open to us, in the sense that the proof that we had could only really lead to this road as a credible one, as far as we were concerned."
Nora’s family have previously said they believe she was abducted. They hope the new ruling will increase the pressure on police in Malaysia to reopen the investigation into her death.