IN THE NORTHERN DISTRICT
NORTH LONDON CORONER’S COURT
Wednesday 14th September 2011
PRE-INQUEST REVIEW TOUCHING THE DEATH OF
JEREMIAH DUGGAN DECEASED
Summary of Proceedings.
The Coroner Mr Andrew Walker addressed the Met Police Barister and stated: “ I asked for an investigation and for witness statements to be taken and what I have is this report.” This report to a review of the German police report and the files submitted to the Courts in Germany by Erica Duggan. The British police carried out no enquiries of their own and took over a year and a half to write their report.
It was stated in the Court by the Mr Jeremy Hyam that this police report gave nothing new to the Coroner who still had a legal obligation to gather information on the circumstances and cause of death of Jeremiah Duggan.
The Lawyer Mr Serdar Kaya appeared in the Court and made the following statement:
THE CORONER: Mr Kaya, thank you very much for attending here today. If we have new material, which it appears has been gathered since the German authorities made the decision not to conduct a formal investigation – I am choosing my words carefully. There has been an investigation of sorts I understand, would that be a helpful process, to send the information? If so, who would we send it to?
INTERPRETER: Let me just interpret please?
A. First of all, I want to thank you to talk here in front of this Court. I want to start in English first and then the rest I will continue in German.
THE CORONER: Yes.
A. I do not want to make mistakes.
THE CORONER: Your English is a lot better than my German, I have to tell you that.
A. In Germany [inaudible] all pieces of evidence, everything has been handed over to the authorities. The problem with this whole set of “investigation” in Germany is the initial investigations is that nothing is put in this file that deserves to be called an investigation. Just to make it tangible, this is the investigation file, 73 pages. Only the paperwork, the 13 volumes is the rest of the proceedings, the decisions and the submissions etc. There has been no formal questioning of witnesses and no medical examinations. They would be compulsory according to German law in such a case. And there is no [inaudible] of any evidence at all even though there should be considerable doubt as to whether this was a suicide. After all there certainly were reasons why Dr Powell, as the emergency physician, said that a post-mortem should take place, for example, there was no autopsy in Germany.
[Inaudible] as Mr Hyam has said, [inaudible] did not satisfy the previous court’s decision, but according to German law the German Constitutional Court was permitted to include only the information available before October 1st, 2006, because that was the factual basis that the OLG have with which it made its decision and of new evidence, for example, especially the new evidence of Jeremiah was said to have been chased and beaten, and this new evidence gives more weight to the initial suspicion. This is all the more reason why things should be investigated more thoroughly in England and why the British authorities should not settle for the conclusions without going through the process that is necessary in order to arrive at a conclusion. If you were to ask me the same questions that you asked Mr Hyam, what can we do now, and he is aware of all this as I am.
THE CORONER: What would be your answer?
A. Yes. My answer would be to use all the tools available to this State, which is required by the European Convention on Human Rights and also other jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights to come to results. [inaudible] is the actually conducting [inaudible]. The requirement is not to reach a conclusion, but to go through the process.
THE CORONER: Thank you very much, that is very helpful.
- Thank you.”
The Hearing ended with the police stating they had no legal jurisdiction to investigate in Germany. The Coroner made it clear that he had a legal duty to obtain information which at the moment he did not have and therefore was not yet in a position to hold an Inquest or to say how where or when Jeremiah died nor to make a verdict on the circumstances of the death.
The Hearing ended with the Coroner making it clear that he would now pursue other legal routes through the British Foreign Office to obtain the information he by law was requited to gather.”
After the Hearing the Duggan family and the supporters went home with the shared opinion that they had been let down once again by their own British Police force who although it was to them that Erica Duggan made a 999 call asking for help for her soon who told her he was in danger – have failed to assist as requested saying that they have no jurisdiction to investigate crimes abroad. It is well known that if the police had wanted to assist they could have used the well known routes through Interpol to obtain information but prepared to waste the time of everyone for over a year and a half saying they were writing a report which in the end turned out to be a rehash of information already there – and this referred to the deeply flawed and inadequate German Police report that stated that as Jeremiah committed suicide there was no need to investigate further. This German police report contained no legally verifiable witness statements. The British Police yet again fail to uphold the dictates of the Convention of Human Rights that require that all authorities should ensure that all sudden deaths should receive a proper investigation.
The British police give that task back to the Coroner to perform that duty and even though they use the excuse we cannot act unless asked by a Foreign State the fact that they made no noises to the German authorities that they wanted to be asked nor were they willing to ask questions through Interpol proves they have let down yet again another family who suffers from a death abroad that is not properly investigated.