Demand for answers as ‘the most watched prisoner in Germany’ kills himself

Investigators were on Thursday asking how a Syrian suspected of planning a bomb attack on a Berlin airport managed to kill himself in prison despite being considering a suicide risk. They say Jaber Albakr, 22, hanged himself by his shirt to the bars of his cell and was found dead 15 minutes after being checked by a prison guard. His death came after he destroyed a lighting fixture in his cell on Tuesday although prison boss Rolf Jacob said “it was not interpreted as a suicide attempt”. However, critics say he should have been under constant watch and his death will make it difficult to find out if he had accomplices in his plot.

I’m unbelievably shocked and absolutely speechless that something like this could have happened

Albakr’s public defender Alexander Huebner

Albakr, who was said to be planning an attack similar to those seen in Brussels and Paris, was arrested on Monday after two Syrians tied up the suspect in their flat in Leipzig and alerted police. Police are already facing accusations that they botched an attempt on Saturday to capture him, leading to a two-day manhunt. Now, fresh questions have emerged over his detention. Security expert Wolfgang Bosbach, a senior member of chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said that given his behaviour, Albakr should have been under constant observation. “The suicide danger was known, it was not just an assumption,” he said.

How could this happen? He must have been the best-guarded prisoner in Germany

Mr Huebner