Kosovar killer dies in St Gallen prison

The man who confessed to killing his daughter’s teacher at a St Gallen school has died in a St Gallen prison.

This content was published on November 19, 2010 - 11:49 and agencies

On Friday, the cantonal justice authorities said 52-year-old Ded Gecaj was found dead shortly before 7am. The circumstances of his death are now subject to an independent investigation.

Gecaj was accused of killing teacher Paul Spirig in 1999. Afterwards he fled to his homeland of Kosovo, then still part of Serbia, where a court sentenced him to four years for manslaughter after he confessed to the crime. He was freed two years later.

Gecaj was re-arrested in May on the basis of a request from the St Gallen authorities, who wanted to try him for murder rather than manslaughter, as well as on charges of sexually abusing his daughter.

Kosovo cooperated with the Swiss Justice Office and Gecaj was extradited from Kosovo to Switzerland in September this year.

Although they say nobody else appears to have been involved in Gecaj’s death, the St Gallen police and justice authorities have decided that the incident should be subject to an independent investigation.

Gecaj had repeatedly criticised the prison conditions and was therefore subject to medical surveillance. His death follows the suicide of a Nigerian detainee at the beginning of the week in the same prison. Gecaj had also left a suicide note.

There appears to be no link between the two deaths, the authorities said.

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