Parents urge Foreign Office to investigate son's death

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Indy Politics

The family of a British student who died in Germany after becoming involved with a right-wing group put renewed pressure on the Foreign Office yesterday to help reopen the case.

A verdict of suicide was recorded by the German authorities on Jeremiah Duggan, 22, from north London, who died in March last year when he was struck by two cars on a road near Weisbaden.

He had been attending a conference organised by a body called the Schiller Institute to protest against the conflict in Iraq.

The institute is led by Lyndon La Rouche, an American right wing conspiracy theorist, who is standing in this year's presidential elections.

Mr Duggan's family have never accepted the suicide verdict that was given and believed the true story of his death is far more complicated and that he may have been fleeing from members of the Schiller Institute when he died.

In November last year, Dr William Dolman, the north London coroner, rejected the German findings as implausible and said that Mr Duggan had been in a state of "terror" at the time when he died.

Yesterday, Foreign Office officials met a delegation led by Mr Duggan's parents as well as representatives of the Jewish community and human rights campaigners. The couple's MP, Rudi Vis, who serves Finchley and Golders Green, was also present at the meeting.

His mother, Erica Duggan, said yesterday that they wanted the Foreign Office to put pressure on the German authorities to reconsider their decision that the case was closed.

Mrs Duggan said: "Following the British inquest verdict that it was not suicide and which did not rule out foul play, we are hopeful that the Foreign Office will support us and intervene on our behalf to get the truth of our son's death.

"It has been a hard 11 months since he died and people from all over the world have been telling us about their fears. We really do expect the German authorities, who have laws against incitement to hatred, to act speedily. We all have cause to be frightened of the growing extremism in Europe today."

Mr Duggan became involved with the Schiller Institute in Paris, where he was studying.

According to an internal Metropolitan Police report submitted to the coroner, Mr La Rouche's organisation has "sinister and dangerous connections", preaches anti-Semitic views - including blaming Jewish people for the Iraq conflict - and uses "physical and mental manipulation" to coerce young recruits.

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