• 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
Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'
Oskar Gröning in court in Lüneburg on Tuesday. Photo:DPA

Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'

Former SS officer Oskar Gröning, dubbed the "accountant of Auschwitz," asked for "forgiveness" over his role in mass murder at the Nazi death camp, as his trial began on Tuesday. READ  

Second World War still key to German identity
US army tanks roll into Cologne. Photo:DPA

Second World War still key to German identity

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, Germans still feel that they deal with its legacy in everyday life, a survey published on Tuesday shows. READ  

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase
Photo: DPA

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase

Police in Munich reported on Monday that they had caught a 16-year-old who raced through the city at up to four times the speed limit, on drugs, in a car with stolen number plates – and without a valid driver's license. READ  

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

British people living in other European countries could find themselves forced to take out private health insurance due to a clampdown on expats using the country’s National Health Service (NHS).  READ  

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks
Refugees being picked up by a German freighter in January. Photo: DPA

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks

“If we don't act now, we'll experience more tragedies” like the one that killed 950 people off the Libyan coast last weekend, European Parliament president Martin Schulz warned on Tuesday. READ  

Arsonists attack Bundestag yet again
The Paul-Löbe Haus, where much parliamentary work is carried out. Photo: DPA.

Arsonists attack Bundestag yet again

Unknown attackers threw a Molotov cocktail at a Bundestag (German parliament) building early on Tuesday morning, the third time within five months. READ  

Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday
Train drivers' union (GDL) leader Claus Weselsky (l) on a picket line in March. Photo: DPA

Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday

Train drivers will return to the picket lines on Tuesday afternoon after negotiations with rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) collapsed on Friday. Passenger services will be hit on Wednesday and Thursday. READ  

Five things to know about weed in Germany
Photo: DPA

Five things to know about weed in Germany

The stoner holiday of 4/20 may not be as popular in Germany as in its homeland the United States, but weed is nonetheless a hot topic in Europe’s largest economy. For the hemp holiday on Monday, The Local shares five things you should know about weed in Germany. READ  

Migrant boat tragedy
Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers
Refugees on the deck of an Italian navy ship in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that "everything" would be done to prevent more migrants dying in the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life in Europe. READ  

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons
Police arrest a terror suspect in Mönchengladbach in January. Photo: DPA

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons

Members of a Salafist group in western Germany have been giving lessons in martial arts to local kids, police reports revealed on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
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
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
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
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

7,165
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd