Czech police close probe into Palestine envoy’s death

Jamal al-Jamal, died in hospital, following an explosion that occurred soon after he opened a safe at the residence

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Czech police said Wednesday they had closed a probe into the death of the Palestinian ambassador who was killed by a blast at his Prague residence on New Year’s Day.

Jamal al-Jamal, 56, died in hospital on January 1, only three months after taking up his post, following an explosion that occurred soon after he opened a safe at the residence.

Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told AFP they had closed the probe but declined to provide details before the ambassador’s family had been officially notified.

They still have the right to ask for the probe to continue, she added.

Prague prosecutor Jindra Janacova said “there was no crime, the blast was not caused by anyone but poor Mr Jamal himself”. It is unclear why he was holding the explosive.

After the incident, Czech police found 12 firearms at the embassy, including submachine guns and sidearms that were not officially registered in the Czech Republic.

Local media said the weapons were produced in the former Czechoslovakia and supplied to the Palestine Liberation Organisation before communism fell in Czechoslovakia in 1989.

Palestinian diplomats later apologised for hiding the illegal weapons at the embassy.

Zoulova said the illegal arms investigation was also over but declined to elaborate.

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