“We had some contact with them, so we know all about it,” Dr Nitschke said.
“I didn’t personally talk to them, but they had access to the book,” he said, referring to The Peaceful Pill e-handbook, which details how to use carbon monoxide as a means of suicide.
“They knew about carbon monoxide. But it wasn’t the case that they were coming to meetings."
“I mean, people buy the book and we don’t get to know them. And obviously this is a tragedy, although that sounds like I’m critical of them, which I’m not."
Nitschke however later clarified this comment, saying that after checking the database, Manrique had not downloaded the book. "Fernando Manrique did not access our book,” he told Fairfax.
Police are still investigating whether Manrique worked alone or if his wife had knowledge of the plan.
The print version of Exit International’s handbook is banned in Australia but is widely available internationally.
The controversial organisation was founded by Nitschke in 1997 over a belief that suicide is a fundamental human right.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline.