• Germany's news in English
 

Umbrella stab victim dies of mercury poisoning

Published: 11 May 2012 17:03 GMT+02:00

Police have admitted they have been left at a loss by the attack, which took place nearly a year ago, when the 40-year-old man was attacked by the mysterious stranger in Hannover.

The case mirrors the murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov who was killed with a poisoned umbrella in London in 1978 at the height of the Cold War.

A post-mortem and toxicological examination being carried out on the German man are expected to point to mercury poisoning as the cause of death, Der Spiegel news magazine said on Friday.

The man was diagnosed with mercury poisoning a few weeks after the attack, and fell into a coma.

He had said he was attacked by a slim stranger who had a sticking plaster on his face.

After months in a coma, the victim had seemed to be improving, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutor said. He had been in a rehabilitation centre, but this Wednesday he suddenly died.

The prosecutor are now searching for the mysterious assailant, investigating a possible charge of grievous bodily harm resulting in death.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:22 May 11, 2012 by lucksi
They are only now searching for the assailant? Just stabbing and poisoning was in the "meh, who cares" range?
20:11 May 11, 2012 by AirForceGuy
Right out of the 'Cold War' Russian playbook...
21:40 May 11, 2012 by Frenemy
Not quite. Ricin is highly effective as a covert hypodermic "problem solver" , but mercury??!! That's just not professional...lol
22:36 May 11, 2012 by PandoraFiles
This scenario is not probable. We are injected with mercury included in vaccines, that doesn't kill us right away. It does it's work very slowly and methodically, working on the immune system.

The injection had to be thallium or ricin or a combination of one or more of the three elements.
07:14 May 12, 2012 by Frenemy
Thallium is an element, but ricin is a compound. But yeah, we ingest copious amounts of mercury with every salt-water fish we eat (our oceans are pretty much 100% contaminated).

Anyway, I agree with @PandoraFiles (something here doesn't track). Its completely ludicrous to compare the toxicity of mercury/"quick-silver" with that of ricin (apples and oranges)...
19:16 May 12, 2012 by karma1969
You medical geniuses do realize there's more than one kind of mercury, don't you? For example, the "mercury in vaccines" is a microscopic amount of inert mercury that has about as much effect on your body as inhaling a speck of couch dust, which is to say nothing at all. Something nasty like Dimethylmercury, on the other hand, can kill you from merely inhaling the fumes. Once. It's no stretch of the imagination that mercury poisoning killed this man.
18:51 May 13, 2012 by Foreignvader
"He had said he was attacked by a slim stranger who had a sticking plaster on his face." What the hell is sticking plaster and what was it doing on the guy's face?
21:13 May 13, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
> What the hell is sticking plaster and what was it doing on the guy's face?

It is a classic decoy: something incongruous, but everyday. In this case he remembers the plaster, and not more useful features like hair or eye colour or age...
22:40 May 13, 2012 by MaKo
No, seriously, *what is* a sticking plaster?
08:04 May 14, 2012 by Dave The Happy Singer
A sticking plaster, as a simple web search would tell you, is what we call a Band-Aid here in the country called Not America.
10:15 May 14, 2012 by Bill Simpson
What motive did the Russians have to kill this one? Or was it the Iranian pay back?
13:18 May 15, 2012 by wenddiver
Why not just shoot and rob him and mark it up to street crime??? Kind of scrams ex-Soviet block.
15:13 May 17, 2012 by johnny108
Without knowing which mercury compound it was- it's difficult to tell the level of sophistication of the attacker. Dimethyl mercury has killed those who were regarded as experts in it's handling. Obviously not an attack by football hooligans. And, at the time of his death- Georgi Markov had powerfull enemies. The question becomes- who WAS the victim?
23:07 May 18, 2012 by DepotCat
johnny108

"The question...who WAS the victim?"

Yes indeed...A very intriguing case.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd