Terror suspect suicide 'a tragedy' say angry MPs

AFP/DPA/The Local
AFP/DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 13 Oct, 2016 Updated Thu 13 Oct 2016 10:37 CEST
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Politicians and lawyers have reacted in anger to the news that a terror suspect was able to kill himself while in police custody on Wednesday evening.


Several experts from the Bundestag (German parliament) called for a rigorous enquiry on Thursday into how Isis terror suspect Jaber Albakr was able to hang himself while supposedly under 24-hour observation at a prison in Leipzig .

The 22-year-old had been arrested on Monday after police found explosives in his apartment.

Konstantin von Notz, expert on domestic affairs for the Green Party, spoke of a “fiasco” for the judicial system in Saxony - where Albakr was being detained - and called for a an investigation into who exactly was accountable.

He added that the Bundestag's committee on internal affairs would look into the incident in the coming weeks.

Wolfgang Bosbach, domestic affairs expert for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), described the suicide as “a tragedy”, saying that Albakr could well have been prepared to cooperate, and that as such authorities had lost “an important source of information”.

Bosbach said that those responsible in Saxony must admit to their mistakes, but he said he feared that an official enquiry would only come to the conclusion that everything had been done that could have been done.

Early last Saturday, police closed in on Albakr's communist-era flat in the eastern city of Chemnitz, but he managed to slip away after they fired a warning shot, sparking a weekend-long, nationwide manhunt and high alerts at railway stations and airports.

In his flat, police discovered 1.5 kilograms of TATP, the homemade explosive that was used by Isis jihadists in the Paris and Brussels attacks.

Investigators said the explosives were "almost ready or even ready for use," and that he was apparently preparing a "bomb, possibly in the form of a suicide vest" to attack an airport in Berlin.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière also said on Thursday that a speedy and rigorous investigation had to take place. Investigations into the 22-year-old’s plans to attack a Berlin airport will have been complicated by the suicide, he added.

Authorities in Saxony are to give a press conference at 11 am on Thursday to give further details of the incident.

Albakr’s lawyer Alexander Hübner told Focus that that the justice system in Saxony was aware that his client was a suicide risk, explaining that he had already smashed lamps and manipulated plug sockets in his cell.

“I only need to mention his hunger strike and his refusal to take in liquids. That is a pretty clear indication that someone wants to do himself harm,” said Hübner.

The prison had assured him that his client was being watched around the clock, he said.

Bild, which first broke the story, reports though that the cell was only being checked once every hour.



AFP/DPA/The Local 2016/10/13 10:37

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