Pakistanis continue inquiries into Berlin suicide

11th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN - Two police officers from Pakistan were continuing inquiries in Berlin Thursday into the death in police custody of a 28-year-old Pakistani student, a day after witnessing an autopsy that backed up the finding of suicide.

BERLIN - Two police officers from Pakistan were continuing inquiries in Berlin Thursday into the death in police custody of a 28-year-old Pakistani student, a day after witnessing an autopsy that backed up the finding of suicide.

Pakistan's embassy said the officers had also visited the jail cell where Amir Cheema, 28, was found hanged last week and were meeting German officials before flying home on Saturday.

The embassy added Thursday that formalities were still required before the body could be flown home to Pakistan. There have been public protests by grief-stricken relatives in Rawalpindi who were unable to believe that Cheema could have put an end to his own life.

One of Germany's top pathologists, Volkmar Schneider, performed the Wednesday autopsy, which found that the injuries were consistent with suicide and there was no evidence whatever of anyone else hurting Cheema, a prosecutions spokesman said.

Cheema had been detained six weeks before his death for invading the office of a German newspaper with a knife. Police overpowered him on March 20 at Die Welt, which had angered Moslems in January by reprinting cartoons perceived as mocking the prophet Mohammed.

Police say Cheema hanged himself with a noose made from his own clothing. Germany offered Pakistan full cooperation in the inquiry and delayed the autopsy till the two officers of the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) from Islamabad could attend it.

Karin Schubert, Berlin's minister of justice, said a thorough inquiry had disproved suspicions voiced by the Pakistani protesters that Cheema might have been tortured to death.

DPA

Subject: German News

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