Czech Police: Explosion Which Killed PA Ambassador 'An Accident'
Czech Police have announced their decision to shelve the investigation into the blast that killed the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamal al-Jamal, after the investigators concluded that no crime or deliberated assassination was committed.
The decision to call off the investigation was made in a joint statement issued by the Czech Police Spokeswoman, Andrea Zoulova, and the state attorney Jindra Janacova.
According to the statement, the explosion in the Palestinian embassy at the beginning of January this year was caused by Semtex explosives hidden in a book which was transferred to the new embassy building in Prague. The blast which killed Jamal al-Jamal happened when the PA envoy opened the book, unaware of the explosive device hidden inside.
Among other factors, Czech Police apparently ruled out the possibility of a deliberate assassination after other PA officials at the embassy announced it was an accident.
“No person who would have been involved in the death of the ambassador has been identified. Therefore we decided to shelve the investigation" said Zoulova.
Shortly after the deadly explosion, al-Jamal’s family claimed he was killed when he opened a rigged safe at the new embassy building; but police investigators found that the explosives were hidden inside the book many years ago and had apparently been forgotten about.
Shortly after the explosion, Czech police found 12 illegal weapons at the PA embassy complex. The PA claimed the weapons, which date from the 1970s and 1980s, were given to them decades ago as gifts by officials in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, when it was a communist country with close ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The Palestinian Authority later sent an apology letter to the Czech authorities for the illegal weapons stash.