Minister Backs Bid to Find Out How Briton Died

The Scotsman/April 1, 2004
By Helen William

The family of a British student who died mysteriously after becoming involved with a right-wing cult, today won Government help to investigate his death.

A meeting with Foreign Office minister Baroness Symons was "very constructive", the family of Jeremiah Duggan said.

The Government has offered to provide a pro bono lawyer to help them in their campaign to get the German authorities to reopen Jeremiah's death in March 2003.

He suffered massive head injuries and died after being hit by two cars on a dual carriageway outside Wiesbaden.

Just hours earlier he had telephoned his mother Erica, at the family home in Golders Green, north London, to say he was in "deep trouble."

German police claim he committed suicide but that has been rejected by Dr William Dolman, the Hornsey coroner, who heard that Jeremiah, 22, was in a "state of terror" before he died.

The family, who are of Jewish descent, believes the Schiller Institute might hold the key to Jeremiah's death. The political cult is led by Lyndon La Rouche, an American right-wing conspiracy theorist.

Mrs Duggan said she was "greatly encouraged" by the meeting.

She added: "She (Baroness Symons) felt there was a number of questions and areas that were very serious and grave that involve not only looking at the death of my son but at an organisation which my son somehow became caught up in.

"We do not know how it happened or how it can be in Germany today that an organisation can call a conference and young people from around the world can be attending lectures that, in my view, stem from a foundation of anti-Semitism."

Jackie Turner, the family's solicitor, said: "There is now an abundance of evidence that supports a reopening to find out how Jeremiah died.

"At present the coroner's inquest ruled out the possibility of suicide in this case and at the moment his death is still unexplained.

"The family are entitled to know how he died."

Another meeting with the Government is being scheduled.

Jeremiah had been attending an anti-Iraq war conference set up by the Schiller Institute.

And 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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