Sunday, September 24

Embassy staff visit suspect Anxiang Du in cell

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Quadruple murder suspect, Anxiang Du, has been visited in his Moroccan prison cell by a representative from the British Embassy.

The visits form part of the consular responsibility of the British Embassy, as efforts are made to speed up the extradition process and bring him back to Britain to face trial.

Du, arrested in Tangier last month after a 15-month international manhunt, is the only suspect wanted for the murders of Jifeng Ding, his wife Helen, and their children Xing and Alice, killed in their home in Pioneer Close, Simpson Manor, Wootton, on April 29 last year, the day of the Royal Wedding.

Bringing Du home to face trial is proving to be a tense diplomatic affair, as Britain has no extradition treaty with Morocco and the wheels of justice in the North African country are believed to be turning particularly slowly.

British Embassy spokesman, Hugh Cleary, said: “An extradition request has been submitted and is currently being processed by the Moroccan authorities. It’s difficult to put a date on it as it’s in their hands and we would be second guessing if we were to say how long it will take.

“We have not had any extradition cases from Morocco in 10 years so there is no established process for us to go through. There is no extradition treaty in place so the application has to be made through the normal channels.

“We have a consular responsibility to Du and he has been visited by a member of staff of the British Embassy fulfilling their consular responsibilities.”

The Embassy was unable to give any updates on Du’s health or whether he had been able to make contact with any of his family back home in England.

It is believed his extradition could take several months.

Anxiang Du was arrested in the Moroccan port, Tangier, on Saturday, July 7. News agencies reported he was held following a short chase through the town.

He is understood to have travelled from Victoria bus station, London, on a coach to Paris Gallieni. After this he travelled through France into Spain, most likely through the use of public transport.

His final journey was to Algeciras in Spain, where he caught a ferry into Tangier.

The investigation has been hampered by a string of high-profile blunders.

It emerged call centre staff in Northampton had missed a possible chance to catch the murderer following the “unacceptable” way a 999 call, made by Xing Ding, was handled.

The abandoned call is believed to have been made by the teenager as her family were being murdered downstairs.

The call was incorrectly traced to an address near Collingtree Park Golf Club and was then wrongly downgraded, an IPCC report said.

Northamptonshire Police has since apologised for the incident and admitted the mistake could have potentially cost officers a vital chance to catch the murderer before he fled the town.

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