Inquest: British student did not commit suicide at ’03 right-wing confab in Germany


(JTA) — A British Jewish student who died in Germany 12 years ago after attending the conference of a far-right group did not commit suicide, a British coroner ruled.

A three-day inquest into the 2003 death of Jeremiah Duggan, 22, ended on Friday. Britain’s High Court in 2010 ordered the investigation to look at possible foul play in the death of the Sorbonne student.

Duggan died after attending an anti-war meeting of the LaRouche Schiller Institute in Wiesbaden. Duggan reportedly was terrorized by followers of the rightist institute after he objected to statements blaming the Iraq war on Jews and identified himself as Jewish. He was also accused of being a spy to harm the organization.

Duggan fled into busy traffic and reportedly was hit several times by oncoming vehicles.

German police called the death “a suicide by means of a traffic accident.”

The coroner, Andrew Walker, found that though Duggan died of fatal injuries received in a car collision, he also suffered a “number of unexplained injuries” suggesting there might have been an “altercation at some stage before his death,” the BBC reported.

“The fact that he attended a conference run by this far-right wing organization … together with Mr. Duggan expressing that he was a Jew, British and questioning the material put before him, may have had a bearing on Mr. Duggan’s death in the sense that it may have put him at risk from members of the organization and caused him to become distressed and seek to leave,” Walker said, according to The Guardian.

The coroner rejected a theory that Duggan’s death was a “set-up” and that his actual death was not caused by the collision of two cars.

But he asserted that the death was not a suicide.

Following Friday’s verdict, Duggan’s family called on German authorities to open a new investigation, including examining the role played by the LaRouche organization, and to overturn the 12-year-old suicide ruling.

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