British Student Suicide Probe

By Quddous Ahmed

A British student who was thought to have killed himself in Germany may have been chased and beaten to death in a quarry before his killers staged his suicide on a nearby motorway, an inquest has heard.


Photograph: PA

Jeremiah Duggan, 22, was found dead on a road near Wiesbaden on 27 March 2003 after he attended a youth event organised by the far-right movement, LaRouche.

German police initially said his death was “a suicide by means of a traffic accident”. However, the student’s family, from north London, have never accepted that.

On Wednesday Alan Bayle, a forensic scientist, told an inquest in London that there was no evidence to support the claim that Duggan killed himself.

“I firmly believe this incident was staged and that Mr Duggan met his death somewhere else and his body [was] dumped on the road,” Bayle said.

There were no traces of blood or skin on the two cars that are supposed to have hit Duggan, he said. “It did not take me very long to see this was a crime scene and not a traffic accident.”

Duggan, who was Jewish, was studying English literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and travelled to Wiesbaden for what he thought was an anti-war conference after becoming concerned about the escalating conflict in Iraq.

He went with a group of young men selling the newspaper Nouvelle Solidarite, a French version of a newspaper published by Lyndon LaRouche, an American rightwing extremist condemned by leading Jewish organisations as an anti-semite.

The Schiller Institute in Wiesbaden, where the conference was held from 21 to 23 March, was run by LaRouche’s German wife, Helga.

The inquest heard written statements from witnesses who said they saw Duggan try to jump out in front of several cars on the morning of his death.

The drivers of the Peugeot 406 and the Volkswagen Golf that German investigators said were involved in the death said Duggan had been at the side of the road before he threw himself in front of the Peugeot and was then run over by the Golf travelling behind. The drivers said they believed he had intended to kill himself.

But Dayle told the inquest the evidence strongly suggested the collision on the motorway had been staged.

The north London coroner Andrew Walker asked whether it was plausible that the scene had been faked on a busy motorway at 6am without any witnesses. He said it would have required a widespread conspiracy involving “a large number of people”.

The inquest continues, despite the incident happening in 2003.

Regardless of the question of fault, taking your own or someone else’s life is strictly forbidden in Islam. The Holy Qur’an admonishes us by saying, (5:32 / 5:33)

“Whoever slays a soul… it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men.”

This universally applicable verse shows one of the beauties of the Holy Qur’an in its diversity of application. This verse applies to murderers, lawyers as well as everyday human beings.

We are all able to apply this verse in our lives and either be admonished by it or blessed through it.

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May God enable us all to serve and save mankind in whatever capacity we are able to so do.

Sources: The Guardian Online, The Holy Qur’an