• Germany's news in English
 

Officer fined for asylum seeker death in jail

Published: 13 Dec 2012 17:20 GMT+01:00

The policeman, named only as Andreas S., was the supervising officer on duty on January 7, 2005 when 21-year Jalloh, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, burned to death in his cell. The mattress to which he was shackled was set on fire with a cigarette lighter.

After a trial lasting nearly two years, the regional court in Magdeburg found Andreas S. guilty of negligent homicide by omission to act, as the senior officer failed to check on Jalloh even after repeated fire alarms went off.

The court heard how police officers even switched the alarm off several times before finally checking the jail cell and discovered Jalloh's body.

Andreas S. had failed in his duty to look in the cell and should have reacted immediately to the fire alarm, said chief state prosecutor Christian Preissner, reported the Der Spiegel magazine on Thursday.

The officer received a fine of €10,800, nearly twice the amount demanded by the public prosecutor. Earlier charges of bodily harm with fatal consequences were dropped during the course of the trial due to a lack of evidence.

Along with a fellow policeman, Andreas S. had already been acquitted of negligent manslaughter of Jalloh in 2008 by the Dessau-Roßlau regional court. He was charged again when the case was re-opened in January 2011 after the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said the initial verdict had been flawed.

The chain of events could not have happened as was presented during the trial, the court ruled. Judges were unable to determine whether Jalloh set the fire himself, or how it would have been possible to do so, calling it a “substantial gap in the consideration of evidence.”

The pair said they had tied Jalloh's hands and feet because he had been violent after being arrested for harassing two women while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

An exact sequence of events after Jalloh's arrest has not yet come to light. In a separate civil case brought against Andreas S., Jalloh's mother and brother claimed the victim must have already been unconscious when the fire broke out, because they said he could not have physically lit the fire when shackled by his hands and feet.

But the state prosecutor saw no evidence for this theory and rejected the plaintiff's application for further clarification from fire experts.

Although he denied any wrongdoing in what the defence described as a chain of unfortunate events, Andreas S. said he still deeply regretted not having been able to save Jalloh, reported the website of Der Spiegel magazine.

As the verdict was read out, human rights activists stood outside the court holding placards reading, “It was murder!”

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:08 December 14, 2012 by raandy
His hands and feet were tied to the ,I assume four corners of the bed by officers and then his matteres catches on fire with a lighter and no one is doing jail time?

The officers that turned off the alarm , should also be fined and sent down the road to the unemployment office.

They managed to put in the article that he was being disorderly and ((harassing two women,)) that surely paints him as a problem,and an undesirable, could have just stated he was out of control from alcohol and substance abuse and let the jury and judge decide his fate.

Every person that was in contact with this asylum seeker should no longer be employed by any correctional facility.

If the detainee did not light the mattress on fire then someone intentionally did.

but

I am sure as is often the case with these articles, there is a lot more here than is being printed.
12:39 December 14, 2012 by blackboot11
an Interesting imbalance of information in the press:

this article is about a person that was accused, found guilty and given a penalty for his deeds and his full name and face have been shielded/hidden from the viewers... because he is white and german? While in a recent article of the 'Bonn Bomber' gives full names and full face fotos of people of interest in this case. because they are not germans and they are not aryan... Some thing just don't ever change here in the DE...
18:16 December 14, 2012 by DULS
@blackboot11

dude honestly, come on !!! I found your comment and more your reasoning very cheap indeed.
19:17 December 14, 2012 by Minitaff
@ blackboot11

man, you pull that race card!! He wouldn't be dead if he was law abiding! oh don't tell me, he was arrested because he was a black african.........i think i will pull the race card now ....YOU are a racist!!!
13:32 December 18, 2012 by George Palmer
raandy-they don't have beds in cells so stop being inflamatory (pardon the pun). Every time a black person dies in custody the race card is thrown in and hysteria results. Even if the officers had shown the utmost professionalism and the prisoner died of natural causes there would be allegations of murder and malpractise. The police in this case acted negligently, but they cannot win in any case involving coloured people. Race has become a lucrative industry for lawyers, relatives, activists and idiots alike.
Today's headlines
Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram
The world's roundest sphere. Photo: DPA

Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

Germanwings said on Friday that it had no knowledge of a doctor-signed sick note found by investigators at flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's flat. READ  

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis quells rumours of resignation

Update: After German tabloid Bild reported that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis was considering resigning, the minister rejected the story on Twitter. READ  

Germany to expand disability rights
Photo: DPA

Germany to expand disability rights

A representative of the German Labour Ministry went before a UN Committee on Friday to discuss the government's plan for improved rights for disabled people. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral
Photo: DPA

Germanwings captain's compassion goes viral

A Facebook post describing how a Germanwings pilot personally reassured his passengers of their safety on a flight on Wednesday has received over quarter of a million likes. READ  

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads
Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes 'foreigner toll' for roads

The Bundestag (German parliament) passed a hugely controversial law on Friday which will charge foreigners for the use of German roads. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study
Spanish immigrants in Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study

A study by the Bertelsmann Institute found on Friday that Germany will need around half a million new immigrants every year until 2050 to maintain its work force. READ  

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Friday that he is opposed to giving Greece further financial help because he believes the new government has frittered away too much trust, but a new poll showed that support for a "Grexit" had shrunk below 50 percent. READ  

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren
A black ribbon on a sign in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren

President Joachim Gauck arrived in Haltern on Friday to join families and schoolchildren mourning the loss of their classmates and teachers in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,137
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd