jeremiah duggan .
(photo credit: justiceforjeremiah.com)
The case of a British Jewish student believed to have been murdered in Germany by a neo-Nazi gang will be discussed at a special meeting in Parliament on Tuesday, following the unearthing of new evidence that contradicts German authorities' suggestion of suicide.
In March 2003 Jeremiah Duggan, a student at the British Institute in Paris, went to Wiesbaden in Germany to join what he thought was a peace conference. It was actually a meeting organized by the far-right Schiller Institute, and Duggan found himself involved with followers of Lyndon LaRouche, an American millionaire and convicted fraudster with virulent anti-Semitic views.
Unaware of the group's leanings, Duggan told the group that he was Jewish. In the early hours of March 27, 2003, Duggan rang his mother in London and told her he was in "deep trouble." When asked where he was, Duggan began spelling out "Wiesbaden," but before he could reach the letter "b," the phone line went dead.
Hours later, police found his body on a highway five kilometers outside of Wiesbaden. The police concluded that Duggan had committed suicide by running into oncoming traffic and calls for an investigation were subsequently dismissed.
Following a tireless campaign by Erica Duggan, Jeremiah's mother, new evidence has emerged that dismisses Duggan's death as a "clear case of suicide," as German police were quick to pronounce, and suggests foul play. For four years Erica has tried, to no avail, to get the German authorities to set up an investigation.
On Tuesday, a special panel will meet at the British Parliament to discuss the case and release compelling new evidence. The meeting will attempt to publicly examine issues and dilemmas that surround the case - anti-Semitism, suspicious deaths abroad and help for victims and will also look into the protocols and provisions that exist to help families who find themselves in similar circumstances.
Aside from Duggan's mother, Tuesday's panel will include Lord Janner, members of Parliament Dr. Rudi Vis and Louise Ellman, Frances Swaine, partner at London law firm Leigh Day and Co., and the German legal team, comprised of Nicolas Becker and Hans Schultz. There will also be representation from European Parliament member Baroness Ludford and Dr. Shimon Samuels from the Wiesenthal Center.
The new evidence, in part from an independent forensic photographer, suggests, among other things, that Duggan was beaten to death with a blunt instrument as he desperately tried to defend himself.
Following Duggan's death, German police took no witness statements and did not complete a postmortem examination. They even failed to reveal records to British police of when they were first alerted to Duggan's death in a traffic accident.
A traffic reconstruction expert at the time stated that the cars had been moved prior to his arrival and no examination of damage to the cars was done forensically.
London law firm Leigh Day and Co., who represent the Duggan family, have uncovered evidence through two forensic specialists that rejects the official verdict that Duggan was hit by two vehicles. No trace of tire marks was found on Duggan's body and there was no evidence to suggest that he had been struck by a vehicle. Instead, both specialists found head injuries consistent with being beaten and wounds on Duggan's forearms and hands that suggest he was trying to protect himself. They also found that he had ingested large quantities of blood, which shows he survived long enough to swallow such large amounts, thereby contradicting German police reports that he died instantly.
"I do not believe that the damage to either vehicle was caused by the impact of Jerry's body," said Paul Canning, an experienced Metropolitan Police forensic photographer, in his report. "There are no traces of skin, hair, blood or clothing on either vehicle, nor is there any blood, tissue or clothing debris on the road, except for blood in the immediate vicinity of the body, nor are there any tire marks or signs on either Jerry or on the cars to indicate that either vehicle came into contact with the body."
"The new findings are the strongest evidence yet suggesting that Duggan might have been murdered and supporting the premise that the true circumstances surrounding his death have been covered up.
The findings of the report will be sent to the attorney-general later this week as part of a submission of evidence aimed at securing a new inquest into the circumstances surrounding Duggan's death.
His mother said she hopes that a verdict of "unlawful killing" would apply pressure for a fresh police investigation.
I have never photographed a vehicle that has hit a person at speed and caused their death without there being some obvious signs that both body and vehicle have made contact - for example, blood, tissue, hair or clothing traces," he continued. "Furthermore, I have never seen or photographed a pointed, sharp dent, such as the one on the Peugeot front right-hand door, that has been caused by an impact with a person. In my opinion, this dent is more likely to have been caused by contact from a heavy instrument, or even another vehicle."