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Second autopsy held in Nigerian death case

Canton Zurich justice authorities have ordered a second autopsy of a rejected Nigerian asylum seeker who died a year ago at Zurich airport before being deported.

This content was published on March 15, 2011 - 14:40
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The Nigerian’s family has contested the original post mortem by Zurich University’s Institute of Forensic Medicine of last June, which found that the man, who had been restrained by force, had died of heart failure.

In a statement, the Winterthur/Unterland public prosecutor’s office said that it had asked the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Giessen University in Germany to carry out the second autopsy.

The decision had come about after criticism by the family and a cardiologist it had mandated to look into the matter, added the communiqué.

According to the original examination, the man had been suffering from a serious heart disease that was almost impossible to detect. The heart failure was further prompted by the man’s hunger strike and agitation about being deported, it found.

After the Nigerian’s death, Switzerland temporarily suspended forced repatriation flights to Nigeria. These were resumed in January and last month Switzerland and Nigeria signed a wide-ranging deal on immigration, the first of its kind between the Swiss government and an African state.

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