Mother seeks to reopen case into son's mysterious death

Erica Duggan wants a new inquiry over death of her son, whose body was found after he allegedly attended the meeting of an antisemitic conspiracy group


The London mother who has spent 16 years fighting a shadowy antisemitic conspiracy group over her son’s death is pushing to have the case reopened in Germany after a Wiesbaden court announced it was closing its inquiry.

Jeremiah Duggan was a 23-year-old British Jewish student whose body was found by the side of a motorway in Wiesbaden, Germany, on March 27, 2003. 

Erica Duggan, his mother, had spoken to him 25 minutes earlier in a troubling conversation in which Jeremiah told her he was frightened and needed help to leave.

German police insisted that Jeremiah had committed suicide, running onto the motorway where he was struck by cars, but the Duggan family never accepted this. They believe that he was murdered — and that the Lyndon LaRouche far-right political organisation, long said to be profoundly antisemitic — played a part in his death, to the point of persuading people not to speak or give evidence. 

Ms Duggan, a South African-born former schoolteacher living in Golders Green, has tried almost every legal avenue open to her to discover what really happened to Jeremiah in 2003. And this month, with the death of Lyndon LaRouche himself, aged 96, she hopes that the organisation he headed will be weakened and that some key witnesses will finally admit that they lied about Jeremiah’s whereabouts.

He was studying in Paris when he was persuaded by a LaRouche recruiter to come with him to Wiesbaden and attend a conference supposedly aimed at promoting world peace. But Mrs Duggan says that Jeremiah identified himself as both British and Jewish, and from then on she believes his life was in danger.

Since his death she has succeeded in getting the Barnet coroner to hold an inquest into what happened, although this did not go exactly as she had hoped: the coroner cast doubt on some of the German authorities’ findings, but did not make a definitive pronouncement on what had happened.

The case has been raised in the European Parliament, and in 2008 new information emerged that Jeremiah had been subjected to hurt and some suspects were named. In 2012, says Mrs Duggan, “we had a very good verdict from the German Higher Court (OLG, the equivalent of England’s High Court), which pretty much tore the Wiesbaden authorities apart. The OLG instructed the Wiesbaden police to investigate properly the circumstances surrounding Jeremiah’s death”.

But, she says, in six years almost nothing happened. She herself was not questioned and at the end of December last year the Wiesbaden inquiry wrote to her to say that they were closing the case.

Now her German lawyer, Serdar Kaya, has submitted a 160-page objection to the closing of the case and the family is keenly hoping it will be re-opened. Erica Duggan believes Jeremiah was in the Lyndon LaRouche offices in Wiesbaden just before his death.

Of her 16-year-long campaign, she says: “I am doing it for my son, but I am also doing because it is so horrific that in today’s Germany there is an organisation like LaRouche that the authorities do not want to look into. A young British Jewish man was killed in the wake of his involvement with an antisemitic conspiracy organisation.”

Erica Duggan is also now planning to approach the outgoing German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to ask for her help. 
Jeremiah Duggan is buried in an unmarked grave in Highgate cemetery, not far from Karl Marx’s tomb. Every penny Ms Duggan has had in the last 16 years has gone to pay lawyers: so there is still, to the distress of Jeremiah’s sisters, no headstone for their beloved brother. 

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