Key events after Jerry's death
On the 28th March 2003, Erica and Hugo Duggan met with the German investigating officer Herr Schaecher in Wiesbaden. He refused their request for a full investigation.
The parents were to have no involvement in any investigations
death, as this was a decision to be taken only by the German
whose intention was to close the case. The German authorities
as suicide by traffic accident. Therefore, in their view, there
need to investigate.
The reasons given for ruling the death a suicide were:
- The drivers stated that Jeremiah hurled himself at the cars and was hit and then run over.
- There was an earlier attempt when Jeremiah jumped at a car. Here the car was traveling at speed and Jeremiah knocked off the wing mirror, was tossed high in the air, and landed on the ground - only to get up and run off!!
We conducted a recorded interview with this driver (with the permission of the driver). This driver can be heard to state that he was going at a speed of 70 km. Medical statistics record the unlikelihood of survival of an impact at such a speed - click here (PDF) for a report on the impact of speed on pedestrians.
Serious Flaws in the Investigation
There remain many serious flaws surrounding the investigation of the death, as well as serious concerns about the incredible first incident. Even if the death was by traffic accident, and there are grave concerns about this ever having taken place, it was a most horrendous death and the reasons for any person to have committed such an act of self-destruction need to be fully investigated.
Failures of Investigation:
- No formal witness statements.
- No forensic examination of the cars.
- No investigation of the traffic accident, only a reconstruction.
- A doctor tested for signs of life and recommended a post mortem. but she carried out no medical examination of the injuries to establish whether or not they were sustained in the traffic accident or from some other cause.
- The most important means of establishing cause of death is the post mortem. The German authorities in Wiesbaden decided that this was suicide and that there was no need to carry out a post mortem.
- There was no investigation into the circumstances surrounding the alleged accident.
- Jeremiah's clothes and shoes were not given to the family in spite of their request to have them.
After Jeremiah's remains arrived in London, the body went missing for 17 hours. The family were unhappy about the German investigations and are recorded as requesting from the Foreign Office that a full post mortem take place.
Unknown to Jeremiah's parents, only a routine post mortem was carried out. The post mortem form itself is a mere one-page outline and was carried out without any medical history being taken, without any prior investigation or any documentation of any of the facts or circumstances surrounding the death. There were no findings on the report to show whether the head injuries were from a traffic accident or other causes.
The post mortem was carried out in Finchley Public Mortuary, which has no facilities for X-ray or photographs, and no laboratory facilities. This means that the post mortem was in violation of the international standards as laid down in Treaties (Harmonization of the Performance of the Medico Legal Autopsy). However some basic facts (click here for speech given by Frances Swaine) have been recorded into the post mortem report. These provide important forensic evidence to suggest that this was not a death caused by being hit or run over by cars.
The burial certificate was made out on the same day as the post mortem, even before any results of blood tests could be known.
There was no identification of the body nor any record produced of when the body was released to the Funeral Directors.
On the Monday following the routine post mortem, the Coroners officer informed the family that Jeremiah had died instantly as a result of being hit by the cars. A closer reading of the post mortem report contradicts this statement.
The Duggan family went to France to try and find out more from the people last with Jeremiah. Jeremiah had been recruited from the streets of Paris to go to Germany, where he met his death. The French people last with Jeremiah refused to speak to the Duggans. It is to be noted that they returned to France as soon as the parents arrived in Wiesbaden. They had been instructed by their leaders in the Schiller Institute not to speak to the family.
After three further months of fruitless attempts to enlist the help of the French authorities, the family turned to the British police for more help.
The Duggans wrote to the British police reminding them of how a 999 call had been made before Jeremiah died. Inspector Colwell from the Barnet Police researched the case and promised that the Barnet police would fully assist the family. The Inspector stated that the Barnet Police had not waited, but had already sent off a list of questions through Interpol. Click here (PDF) for these questions.
Inspector Colwell told Erica Duggan that she would have no need of a solicitor as the Barnet Police were fully prepared to assist the Coroner to investigate thoroughly before the Inquest. They wanted to send out British police officers to Germany. She also mentioned that Jeremiah could not have run the 5 kilometres in such a short time to the spot where his body was found.
Two weeks later the British Liaison officer working with Inspector Colwell phoned Erica Duggan. She stated that the Coroner, Dr Dolman, did not want the British police to continue further because the Coroner did NOT want to question the German police view of death by car crash. There were no investigations carried out by the British authorities. It was a violation of the Coroners Act that the family were denied the right to question in Court the persons who were witnesses to the crash.
The Barnet police officers stated that they could not question the Coroner's decision, and threatened to put the phone down. Erica Duggan asked the British Family liaison officer Gary Myers to tell her from where Jeremiah's last phone call had been made, as this was crucial evidence. He explained that they did not wish to raise any issues that may upset relations with the German police and so far these questions remain unanswered.
When the German police summaries arrived, Dr Dolman sent the German report to the police for translation. It was written in an email by the FCO that Dr Dolman told them he did not wish the family to have a copy of the police report as the family wished to investigate and that was the job of the police. Then Dr Dolman said the report was lost. However, the British Foreign Office had kept a copy and provided the family with a duplicate which they had translated.
There were several black-and-white photographs of the alleged accident and Erica Duggan informed the FCO that they should get better copies of these as they could help the Coroner.
The Coroner stated later at the Inquest that the photographs were not going to add anything new. This was before he had even got copies of the colour copies or negatives. He also made no request for the shoes and clothes, which had not come with the body. The whereabouts of the clothes is not known and if they have been destroyed - this is a violation of international law. The coroner applied for witness statements but none were received. Christian Khan, the law firm representing the Duggans, applied for a postponement of the Inquest in order for more investigations to take place. Dr Dolman refused and the Inquest was held in November 2003.
Click here for a summary of the British Inquest proceedings.
Lesley Thomas QC presented the case that the Coroner did not have enough information to hold an inquest. He applied for the proceedings to be considered preliminary hearings. There were no witness statements. Click here (PDF) for a document of his argument.
The request to adjourn the Inquest that day was dismissed by the Coroner Dr Dolman, who promised to adjourn if need be.
Inspector Colwell from the Barnet police attended the Inquest on her own volition and gave evidence about her researches into the LaRouche youth movement, which she described as "sinister" and something needing investigation.
Dr Dolman put in a further request to the German authorities for witness statements and adjourned the Inquest for one day. He then recalled the Inquest, not waiting for the reply"which actually came one day later. That reply came in the form of a letter from the Frau Biniok, the German Prosecutor, which stated that there were no formal witness statements. Click here (PDF) for an abstract from the letter. There are no signed verbal testimonies or legal statements. The information from the drivers comes from notes relayed from one police officer to another and written up by the investigating officer, who appeared on the scene allegedly five minutes after the drivers had been allowed to leave.
The traffic accident specialist was called not to investigate but to reconstruct how the accident happened or might have happened.
The Inquest was based on the German police summaries, to which the Coroner Dr Dolman stated he would allow no objections.
There were several misleading facts in these police summaries:
1. The LaRouche officials said that Jeremiah was a mental patient of the Tavistock Clinic. This is incorrect.
2. The LaRouche officials stated that Jeremiah had serious mental problems. This is incorrect. This is seen in Jeremiah's medical records, which showed no signs of psychological problems.
3. Sebastien told the police that Jeremiah's girlfriend Maya suggested that Jeremiah had a history of suicide attempts by jumping into rivers. This is refuted by her testimony at the Inquest.
At the Inquest the Coroner took Lesley Thomas, the Barrister for the family, into a side room for private discussions. Dr Dolman told Mr Thomas that he would be discounting the German view of suicide. The Coroner led the family's legal team to believe that if the British Court discounted suicide, this should assist the family. Their reason was that the Germans had closed the case on the grounds that this was suicide. Dr Dolman gave a narrative verdict which stated: "Jeremiah Joseph Duggan received fatal injuries when he ran into the road in Wiesbaden and was hit by two private motor cars. He had earlier been in a state of terror."
In presenting the conclusions of the Inquest, the Coroner made the claim that we may never know what caused Jeremiah to die in the manner he died, and warned about how we may all well be frightened about the growth of dangerous extremist groups in Europe. He then closed the case, as lies within his power. This meant that no matter how much new evidence was discovered, there was nothing more to be done.
Failure of the British Foreign Office:
The British Foreign Office failed to ensure that a full and fearless investigation was carried out. This has inflicted additional trauma on the bereaved. This has meant there has not been Justice for Jeremiah.
After the inquest, the Coroner wrote to the British Foreign Office. Click here (PDF) to see the letter written by the Coroner. Here the Coroner states that there were no issues that the British authorities needed to take up with the German authorities.
This was not disclosed to the Duggan family
It was only in January 2005 (Freedom of Information Act) that this letter was released.
This secret letter sent by the British Coroner to the British Foreign Office undermined all the legal action taken by the family in Germany. This obstructed the path to a full investigation. The German authorities stated: “The British have closed the case. Why should we open it? The Coroner does not disagree with our findings and has not requested us to open investigations."
The British Foreign Office advised the family that if they wished an investigation they would have to pursue the case on their own in Germany. The Foreign Office refused to support the family's request for an investigation financially or in any other way.
The Foreign Office turned down the attempt by the family to
the Foreign Office with information that this death may well
an unlawful killing. The Foreign Office refused to ensure a full
investigation into the death of a British citizen.
The German authorities claimed that, as the British authorities had not asked for an opening of investigations, this confirmed that they were correct in not re-opening enquiries or pursuing them any further.
Rudi Vis MP wrote to the British Minister of the Foreign Office. He asked for support. This was refused by Baroness Symons. Click here (PDF) for letter from Baroness Symons to Rudi Vis MP. She states that the Coroner does not request further investigations. She writes that there were witness testimonies.
THIS IS INCORRECT - there were no witness statements; the FCO had received many emails and a letter giving them the correct information, but it chose to ignore them.
Click here (PDF) for the email written by the British Foreign office confirming her telephone conversation with the German Prosecutor which states that there were no witness statements as such. The letter confirming this is shown as an attachment to this email.