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New evidence shows ‘suicide’ student was beaten to death

by Mark Townsend and Jamie Doward

Com­pelling new evi­dence sug­gests that a 22-year-old Briton who had become involved with a right-wing polit­i­cal cult in Ger­many was mur­dered, con­tra­dict­ing the author­i­ties’ ver­dict of sui­cide.

Two new reports from lead­ing foren­sic pathol­o­gists sug­gest that Jere­mi­ah Dug­gan, a stu­dent at the British Insti­tute in Paris, was bat­tered to death with a blunt instru­ment as he tried des­per­ate­ly to defend him­self.

The find­ings, to be revealed on Tues­day, cast grave doubt on the offi­cial ver­dict that Dug­gan hurled him­self in front of cars on a dual car­riage­way in Wies­baden. Foren­sic spe­cial­ists found no trace of tyre marks on his body, or any­thing to sug­gest that he had been struck by a vehi­cle. But they did detect clas­sic ‘defence wounds’ to Dug­gan’s fore­arms and hands, which usu­al­ly sug­gest some­one try­ing to pro­tect him­self.

His head injuries are con­sis­tent with being beat­en and ‘exclude any pos­si­bil­i­ty that the injuries to his head occurred because a motor vehi­cle ran over the body’, accord­ing to the two stud­ies.

Both reports are unan­i­mous in reject­ing the offi­cial account that Dug­gan was struck by two vehi­cles on the night he died in March 2003. They also found that he had ingest­ed quan­ti­ties of blood.

The offi­cial account by Ger­man author­i­ties, based on police reports, says he was hit by a car trav­el­ling at 60mph and died instant­ly. How­ev­er, the fact Dug­gan sur­vived long enough to swal­low large amounts of blood indi­cates he took a long time to die, which would not be the case after a high-speed col­li­sion.

The expert con­clu­sions are the strongest evi­dence yet that Dug­gan was killed rather than com­mit­ted sui­cide, and sup­port his fam­i­ly’s claims that the true cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his death have been cov­ered up. The find­ings will be sent this week to the Attor­ney Gen­er­al as part of a sub­mis­sion of evi­dence aimed at secur­ing a fresh inquest into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death. Eri­ca, his moth­er, hopes that a ver­dict of ‘unlaw­ful killing’ will apply pres­sure for a fresh police inves­ti­ga­tion.

Dug­gan, from Gold­ers Green, north-west Lon­don, had become involved with the Wies­baden fol­low­ers of Lyn­don LaRouche, an Amer­i­can mil­lion­aire with vir­u­lent anti-Semit­ic views. Unaware of the group’s lean­ings, the for­mer Christ’s Hos­pi­tal pupil told fol­low­ers that he was Jew­ish. At 4.20am on 27 March, 2003, Dug­gan rang his moth­er. His voice was hushed: ‘Mum, I am in deep trou­ble.’

Asked where he was, Dug­gan began spelling out Wies­baden. Before he could reach ‘b’, the line went dead. Hours lat­er, police inves­ti­gat­ed reports of a body on the B455 out­side Wies­baden. The author­i­ties quick­ly pro­nounced Dug­gan’s death as a ‘clear case’ of sui­cide. The offi­cial ver­sion states that Dug­gan ‘ran against’ a Peu­geot and was sub­se­quent­ly run over by a Golf.

Despite requests by British police, their Ger­man coun­ter­parts have failed to even reveal records of when they were first alert­ed that Dug­gan had been killed in a road traf­fic acci­dent.

Frances Swain, of lawyers Leigh Day and Co, said: ‘It is clear from the new evi­dence that JD did not die in a road traf­fic acci­dent. How he did die has yet to be inves­ti­gat­ed and a fresh inquest is required to get those prop­er inves­ti­ga­tions off the ground. This is strong evi­dence that again ques­tions what has been told to us. A new inquest is essen­tial.’


21 March 2003 Jere­mi­ah Dug­gan trav­els to Wies­baden for what he believes is an anti-war con­fer­ence. In fact, it was organ­ised by the far-right Schiller Insti­tute, which is inspired by Lyn­don LaRouche, a US right-wing con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist, and run by his wife. It has a his­to­ry of anti-Semi­tism.

27 March At 4.20am, Dug­gan, who was Jew­ish, called his moth­er, say­ing: ‘I’m in deep, deep trou­ble, I want out.’ Lat­er he was found dead on a dual car­riage­way.

29 March Ger­man author­i­ties claim he took his own life by jump­ing into traf­fic.

4 Novem­ber British coro­ner Dr William Dol­man dis­missed sui­cide ver­dict, say­ing Dug­gan died ‘in a state of ter­ror’.

24 Feb­ru­ary 2004 Dug­gan fam­i­ly meet For­eign Office after Ger­man author­i­ties refuse to reopen the case.

Novem­ber 2005 Dug­gan’s moth­er per­suades Ger­man author­i­ties to hand over pho­tos made by inves­ti­ga­tors.

22 Feb 2006 Fam­i­ly calls for new inquest.

March 2007 Two foren­sic reports say Dug­gan was bat­tered to death.


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