• Germany edition
 
Umbrella stab victim dies of mercury poisoning
Photo: DPA

Umbrella stab victim dies of mercury poisoning

Published: 11 May 2012 17:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hessen. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

JobTalk Germany
When should interns demand to get paid?

When should interns demand to get paid?

After a woman was denied pay for working at a supermarket as an 'intern' for eight months with no wages, The Local looks at the warning signs for abusive internships. READ  

Single parents, common law families on rise
Photo: DPA

Single parents, common law families on rise

The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the "classic model" and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Four arrested in raids against Isis
Photo: DPA

Four arrested in raids against Isis

Police raided 15 homes across Germany over the weekend and arrested four suspected supporters of the Islamic State (Isis). They are alleged to have smuggled a teenager and thousands of winter military clothes to the terrorist group's frontlines. READ  

Munich Refugee Crisis
'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'
Hassan, pictured outside the Bayernkaserne with two of his children, arrived in Munich from Syria. Photo: Mariane Schroeder

'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'

Around 300 refugees are arriving in Munich each day, but accommodation centres are full. With authorities struggling for answers, The Local meets those at the sharp end of the crisis. READ  

Train Strike
Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return
Photo: DPA

Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return

UPDATE: Deutsche Bahn trains are chugging along again after a 50-hour train strike cost the service "tens of millions" and brought travel headaches across the country, leaving millions of passengers struggling for transportation over the weekend as well as at least one mass brawl in its tracks. READ  

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt. Photo: DPA

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt plans to limit his road toll for foreigners initially to motorways only, Spiegel reported on Sunday. READ  

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open
The damaged bank branch. Photo: DPA

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open

Criminals robbed a Berliner Sparkasse bank branch early on Sunday morning - using a bomb. READ  

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry
French Economy and Finance Ministers Emmanuel Macron (l) and Michel Sapin. Photo: DPA

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry

French and German ministers are due to meet on Monday to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe's two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment. READ  

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours
Grounded. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has called a new 35-hour walkout at Lufthansa starting Monday, hours after a weekend-long rail strike finished. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
How to get hired at a Berlin startup
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,441
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd