German police sentenced over deportation death

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2004, FRANKFURT - Three German border police officers were given suspended nine-month prison sentences by a court Monday over the death of a Sudanese asylum-seeker during his deportation.

18 October 2004

FRANKFURT - Three German border police officers were given suspended nine-month prison sentences by a court Monday over the death of a Sudanese asylum-seeker during his deportation.

The court in Frankfurt found the three officers guilty on a charge of assault causing bodily harm with fatal consequences.

The court also criticised the border police authority for serious failures in the training of officers used in deportations.

The convictions come more than five years after 30-year-old Aamir Ageeb suffocated to death aboard a Lufthansa plane after it had taken off from Frankfurt airport.

The prosecution had called for prison terms of one year each for the three officers, while the defence said the defendants should be cleared.

The trial was closely followed by human rights groups including Amnesty International and Pro Asyl.

Ageeb's death on 28 May 1999 triggered a debate on Germany's procedures for the deportation of refugees who have been refused asylum. Interior Minister Otto Schily suspended all deportations for four weeks while an inquiry was held.

The court had been told the officers had bound Ageeb's arms and legs, shackled him by rope to his seat and placed a helmet over his head which was pressed down on his chest to keep him silent. Shortly after take-off they noticed he had suffocated.

Ageeb, who had arrived in Germany in 1994 as a refugee from Sudan's civil war, was pronounced dead shortly afterwards and he was taken off the plane making an unscheduled stop at Munich.

DPA

Subject: German news

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