Jeremiah Duggan's suicide was staged, expert tells inquest


A forensic scientist has cast doubt on events leading to the death of Jewish student Jeremiah Duggan, suggesting that his suicide was staged.

At an inquest at North London Coroner’s Court, Alan Bayle said he believed Mr Duggan had not killed himself by jumping in front of moving vehicles.

“I believe this incident was staged. The death occurred elsewhere and the body was brought to the scene. To me it looked nothing like a traffic accident.”

Mr Duggan, a student for London, was ruled by German authorities to have killed himself by jumping into traffic in March 2003 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Mr Duggan died not long after leaving Paris to attend a youth conference in Wiesbaden organised by the Schiller Institute, the German front organisation of LaRouche, a political movement centred around controversial US political figure Lyndon LaRouche. He was 22 at the time of his death.

Mr Duggan’s family, who reject the official cause of death in Germany, were granted a new British inquest in 2010 after obtaining fresh forensic reports.

Mr Bayle told the court that he could find no forensic evidence that Mr Duggan’s body had been in a collision with two cars, a Peugeot 406 and VW Golf,as German officials claimed.

“There’s no transfer at all, no blood no skin,” he said, explaining that bodies involved in an impact leave traces on the vehicle.

Asked to account for the damage to the Peugeot, he said: “It looks like it was hit with a hard object.”

Coroner Andrew Walker read statements from Mr Duggan’s girlfriend at the time, Maya Villanueva, who described his enthusiasm on joining Nouvelle Solidarité, a Larouche front organisation in Paris where he was a student at the Sorbonne.

But she recalled that Mr Duggan had become “very anguished” in the time leading up to a fateful trip to Germany.

A statement by Alex Weisberger, recruited by LaRouche with Mr Duggan, described how he had became increasingly conflicted at the prospect of travelling to Berlin to join a political protest organised by the Schiller Instititute against the Iraq war.

The court heard the testimony of Mr Duggan’s mother, Erica. She described her son as “politically inexperienced”.

She recalled a telephone call before his death, in which he told her: “I am in deep deep trouble” and mentioned the Nouvelle Solidarité movement.

The phone call was cut off as Mr Duggan was telling his mother his location.

After finding out about Mr Duggans death from British police, Mrs Duggan was told by German police officer Inspector Schächer that investigators had concluded that he had thrown himself into moving traffic.

Coroner Andrew Walker declined to hear evidence from Chip Berlet, an expert in right-wing movements in the United States. Anthony Metzer QC, acting on behalf of the Duggan family, had wanted to call Mr Berlet to testify on how the methods of the LaRouche organisation would have affected Jeremiah Duggan’s state of mind.

The Corner said that if, as the expert evidence adduced by the Duggan family seemes to suggest, the car accident in Mr Duggan is said to have died was staged, then his state of mind would no longer be relevant to the inquiry.

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