Police to take new look at 2008 death amid claims of botched investigation

Doctors say the injuries that lead to a 30-year-old man’s death could not have been self-inflicted as police concluded after a hasty investigation

August 30th, 2012 1:55 pm| by admin

Copenhagen Police have re-opened their investigation into the 2008 death of a Copenhagen man after criticism of their conclusion that the death was a suicide.

Four years ago, 30-year-old Omar Jabr was found in his motorcycle repair shop in Amager suffering a range of injuries to which he succumbed five days later in hospital.

According to the tabloid BT, which conducted its own investigation into the death, the police came to their conclusion that the injuries were self-inflicted and ruled it suicide after only 16 minutes on the scene. They claimed Jabr was suffering from mental health problems and had attempted to kill himself by throwing himself around the repair shop.

But according to retired police inspector Niels Kjøller, that conclusion does not match the evidence.

“It’s incredible they could have drawn that conclusion and it looks pretty bad that they took so little time coming to it,” Kjøller told BT.

BT’s own investigation discovered a range of inconsistencies between the police report and statements made by witnesses and medical experts.

First is the finding that Jabr’s injuries were self-inflicted. In hospital he was found to have two broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a broken nose and a brain haemorrhage. His head was so badly damage it appeared deformed.

A report filed by an ambulance paramedic described the scene as one of the worst cases of violence he had ever witnessed.

The day following Jabr was admitted to Rigshospitalet, Dr Vagn Eskesen, from the hospital's neurosurgery department, wrote that the injuries corresponded more with a fall from a second floor window or a violent car accident. He wrote that the injuries were probably sustained through being beaten with golf clubs.

But despite raising his doubts with the police’s conclusions, it was still ruled a suicide.

The police reportedly came to the conclusion Jabr was mentally ill after four minutes on the scene and was based on a statement by Jabr’s cousin and neighbour, Jacob Jabr. BT’s investigation showed that Jacob Jabr had not said this in the interview.

The police also said two witnesses told them they had seen Jabr throwing himself around inside his shop. The witnesses, who were intoxicated at the time, now deny they said what was written in the police report. The third witness was Jacob Jabr, who said he found his cousin stumbling around in the shop “clearly disorientated” and after being the victim of what appeared to be a violent assault.

The police also claim the shop was locked from the inside and that assailants could not have made their way in. The newspaper's own investigation revealed that a window at the back of the shop was open while the lock on the front door was a type that locked automatically when the door closed.

As a result of the police’s findings, no autopsy was carried out on Jabr’s body and the crime scene was not examined by forensic investigators. His body was exhumed several months after his death though no new clues could be found.

According to BT the officers handling Jabr’s case no longer work for Copenhagen Police. Jens Møller, the head of the department's violent crimes division, said he would only comment on BT's claims after the case had been re-examined.

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