published: 02.01.2014, 16:52 | updated: 02.01.2014 20:00:42
Prague - The Czech police have ruled out that the death of Palestinian ambassador Jamal Al Jamal, who was killed in a blast at the embassy´s seat in Prague on Wednesday, was caused by an intentional crime.
The police are investigating the blast as killing caused by negligence and on suspicion of illegal arms possession as they have found some unregistered weapons in the embassy building.
Czech diplomacy is concerned about it and will demand an explanation from the Palestinian Authority.
Jamal succumbed to the injuries he suffered in the blast of an as yet unspecified explosive while mishandling the embassy's safe in his diplomatic flat in the Prague-Suchdol neighbourhood.
Palestinian embassy spokesman Nabil El Fahel denied the original information from the Palestinians who said the explosive was part of safe-deposits´ security mechanism.
Fahel says Jamal commonly deposited money for salaries and the office's everyday expenses as well as documents in the respective safe.
He ruled out the information in the media from Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki who said the safe had not been used for two decades or more.
Fahel later specified that there were two safes at the embassy - the used one that went off and the other that was closed for years. The police opened the other safe and found nothing inside.
Prague policemen, who are investigating the incident, uncovered several weapons that had not been registered in Czech Republic in the embassy building today. They did not specify their number and types.
The Respekt weekly´s server has reported that policemen found, for instance, submachine guns in the building that would equip at least "a ten-member combat unit."
Detectives will now look into how the weapons have got to the embassy.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Johana Grohova pointed out that the conditions of weapon possession defined in the Czech law on arms and ammunition apply also to diplomats.
The Foreign Ministry has expressed concern about the find.
"The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations may have been violated," Grohova said.
The Criminology Institute is examining the safe and the substance that went off in it. The results can be expected in a couple of days.
Czech doctors carried out an autopsy on Jamal's body today. They concluded that he had died of a bleeding shock suffered in the accident,
Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok as well as Malki said the incident was not connected with a terrorist act.
Rusnok expressed his condolences to Jamal´s family and the Palestinian Authority.
Malki is of the view that Jamal´s death was caused by a job-related injury.
An unnamed Palestinian diplomat told the news agency New China that it could have been an assassination.
However, neither the police nor the BIS Czech counter-intelligence service have information indicating that the Wednesday blast was a terrorist act.
Jamal´s remains may be transported to Palestine next week. Jadallah Sabatin, charge d'affaires who has been entrusted with heading the Palestinian mission in Prague, was discussing the transfer of Jamal's body at the Czech Foreign Ministry today.
A representative of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has arrived in Prague over the tragic accident and other Palestinian representatives are to follow.
A Palestinian team of investigators is to arrive there, too.
Czech security experts, addressed by CTK, questioned the theory that the explosive was probably part of the safe´s security mechanism. Explosives stopped to be used as part of security mechanisms of safe-deposit boxes shortly after World War Two, they said.
Palestinians have had their diplomatic mission in Prague for almost 33 years.
The Communist Czechoslovakia started to develop relations with the Palestinians after the Six-Day War in June 1967 when it severed diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) opened its permanent mission in Prague in March 1981. In 1983 it was elevated to a diplomatic mission. The embassy of the State of Palestine was opened in Prague in December 1988.
Jamal was named ambassador to Prague in October 2013 being the third in the post.
According to Palestinian Internet sources, Jamal was born in in the Palestinian refugee camp Shatila in 1957. His family fled from Jaffa after the establishment of Israel.
Jamal joined the Fatah Palestinian party in 1975 and four years later he became deputy ambassador to Bulgaria. He worked as a diplomat in Prague from 1984. Before he became ambassador to Prague, he occupied the post of consul in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2005-2013.
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