A mother fighting for justice for her son who died in mysterious circumstances in Germany accused investigators of “institutional racism” at an inquest today.
Jeremiah Duggan’s mother Erica, of Golders Green, told Barnet Coroners Court how she has spent the harrowing 11 years since her son’s death without answers as to how he died.
The 22-year-old was attending a Peace Conference in Wiesbaden in Germany on March 27, 2003, when he phoned his mother “begging to be saved”, saying he was in danger of his life.
Just one hour later, his body was found beside the road, close to the offices of the right wing group LaRouche Schiller Institute, which had organised the rally.
Although German officials have always maintained he committed suicide by running in front of a car, his mother told the court she believes LaRouche had a big part to play in his death.
At a pre-inquest review hearing this morning, Coroner Andrew Walker agreed to hold a formal inquest into his death next year.
Addressing the court, Mrs Duggan said: “They told me it was Jeremiah’s goodbye call, and that I didn’t know my son. I knew from that phone call he wanted to stay alive. It wasn't a suicide.
“When we arrived in Germany, it was quite clear the case had been on the spot closed.
“The law in Germany has let us all down. It’s institutional racism, they don’t see what they don’t want to see.”
In December 2012, the Higher Court in Hessen told the Wiesbaden Police Department they had failed in their duties to properly investigate.
But Mrs Duggan, who has two daughters, claims the same police officer who presided over her son’s death in 2003 was asked to conduct “another deeply flawed and corrupt investigation”.
She added: “It’s been a sham investigation.
“In my mind, the investigators destroyed evidence – they destroyed his shoes and his clothes.
“I am sure my son doesn’t want us to go on suffering as we have done for 11 years.”
Jeremiah was a Jewish student studying at the Sorbonne in Paris at the time of his death.
Speaking at a press conference after the inquest, Mrs Duggan accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chief Prosecutor Andreas Winklemann of “deceiving lawyers” associated with the case.
She claims they have been spreading “false and misleading” information, covering up crucial evidence and hidden the identities of those who suspected of harming him.
She said: “The authorities, led by a police investigator, decided there and then that Jeremiah’s death was suicide and they did not have to investigate.
“They declared they were not concerned with the circumstances surrounding the death.
“I have evidence that the LaRouche group stated Jeremiah was an enemy, who deserved to die, and immediately prior to his death he had been in their offices and had been attacked and chased.
“As a result, I find myself in the impossible position of being a mother having to investigate the death of my own son.”
Mrs Duggan was due to hold a protest at the Germany Embassy this afternoon.
The German Embassy declined to comment.