Mother of Jeremiah Duggan condemns closure of German case into her son's suspicious death - saying there has been a miscarriage of justice
PUBLISHED: 18:04 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 03 April 2018
A mother has condemned German authorities for closing an investigation into her son's death - saying a miscarriage of justice continues 15 years after he was found dead on a motorway.
Jewish student Jeremiah Duggan, who was from Barnet, was hit by two cars on a dual carriageway near the German town of Wiesbaden in March 2003.
He had attended a conference hosted by the LaRouche political cult in the days before his death and had made a phone call to his mother Erica Duggan pleading for help shortly before he was found dead.
The LaRouche movement is alleged to be anti-Semitic and anti-British.
Jeremiah’s mother says vital lines of inquiry have never been followed and accuses the authorities of failing to establish conclusively even where Jeremiah was in the crucial hours before his death.
She believes, based on more than a decade of gathering witness testimony, that Jeremiah may have been physically or psychologically attacked by members of the cult and was fleeing for his life.
But authorities have closed the case for a second time, saying: “There is no sufficient suspicion against any person.”
Mrs Duggan, of Childs Hill, Barnet, said: “My son phoned me in the early hours of the morning asking to be rescued from danger. This was shortly before his dead body was found on the road. I heard someone trying to stop him and then the phone was cut.
“It is a scandal that after all these years the Wiesbaden prosecutor refuses even to interview me. I will contest the decision to close the case.”
A press conference was due to be held by Mrs Duggan and her legal team in Berlin today.
Following years of legal action, the Frankfurt High Court ordered the case should be reopened in 2012 based on new information from witnesses that Jeremiah had been attacked.
The court’s ruling was critical, saying mistakes had been made and ordering a full and far reaching investigation into the case - including two named suspects.
The ruling said police and prosecutors should also examine the possibility of “collective harming” by the political cult and whether this may have contributed to Jeremiah’s death.
But Mrs Duggan’s legal team allege vital witnesses have still not been investigated, contradictions in witness statements have not been followed up, and vital lines of inquiry ignored.
She has been sharply critical of the fact the detective who originally investigated the death in 2003 was brought back for the second investigation, saying the “mindset of suicide has continued to blind the authorities”.
“All they’re doing is justifying what happened in the beginning when they closed the case,” she said.
The Ham&High has seen documents relating to the most recent investigation by the Wiesbaden police which show little evidence of the collective influence of LaRouche being investigated - and contradictory testimony about where Jeremiah was on the night before he died.
Jeremiah’s mother says she is sickened that the German authorities seem unwilling to investigate the LaRouche movement and its Wiesbaden headquarters, the Schiller Institute.
“Questions will be raised about why a political cult with its European headquarters in Wiesbaden, extensively documented as inciting hatred and spreading anti-Semitic and anti-British conspiracy theories throughout the world, apparently is granted immunity by the German state,” she said.
The Ham&High contacted the Schiller Institute to ask for comment, but did not receive a reply.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Wiesbaden confirmed the decision to close the case.
Spokesman Oliver Kuhn told the Ham&High: “The preliminary investigation was closed as there was no sufficient suspicion against any person at the end.
“In the last years various witnesses were interviewed, i.e. passersby, eyewitnesses of the accident, rescue workers and persons who took part in the events of the Schiller Institute, as well as employees of the institute.
“From the witness’s questionings and other investigations, there were no clear indications of verbal or physical disputes or attacks that could be brought in connection with the death of the deceased. Other promising inquiry attempts are not evident.”
Meanwhile Mrs Duggan faced the 15th anniversary of her son’s death yesterday in Germany preparing to challenge the decision to close the case, rather than visiting the cemetery with family.
Asked why she continues to fight for justice, she said: “My son’s life was stolen from him and somehow I can’t let his death go without it being investigated to find out what really happened.”